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A CHAPTER FROM THE 



HAST THOU ENTERED INTO THE TREASURES OF THE SNOW? 

JOB mviii. 22. 

" Acquaint thyself with God, if thou wouldst taate 
His works. Admitted once to his embrace, 
Thou shall perceive that thou wast blind before ; 
Thine eye shall be instructed ; and thine heart, 
Made pure, shall relish with divine delight, 
Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought." 

COWPIB. 




PUBLISHED BY THE 

AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY, 

No. 28 CORNHILL, BOSTON. 






Entered according lo Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by 

THE AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY, 
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts. 



GEO. C. BAND (t AVERT, 





BRIEF article on Snow-flakes, in one of the peri- 
odicals published by the American Tract Society 
in the winter of 1862-3, accompanied by a 
cut exhibiting some of their forms, elicited 
from its readers many expressions of interest, 
and suggested the preparation of a book on 
this curious but generally little-known subject. 

The beautiful forms of many of the snow-crystals were 
observed and sketched more than a century ago. The 
Transactions of the Royal Society of London, for 1755, 
contain representations of ninety-one varieties, with descrip- 
tions by Dr. Nettis. Captain William Scoresby, the emi- 
nent English navigator, has given, in his Arctic Regions, 
drawings of ninety-six varieties. More recently, numerous 
specimens, with accompanying descriptions, have been given 



PREFACE. 

to the public by James Glaisher, Esq., of Lewisham, Eng- 
land. It is from these sources, chiefly, that the figures 
here exhibited have been derived. 

It has been no part of our design, in this work, to 
enter into any scientific statements concerning the snow- 
flakes, or the laws of their formation. A brief general 
description of them is all that has been attempted. Yet 
the reader should not, from this, infer that there is any 
question respecting the truthfulness of the sketches. The 
drawings were originally made with scientific precision, and 
have been carefully copied. A few simple figures at the 
top of page 11 are designed to show the primary geo- 
metrical forms under which the snow-vapor crystallizes. 
With that exception, they are all representations of indi- 
vidual crystals, actually observed and sketched with the 
aid of the microscope. 

It is proper to add, however, that these representations 
are highly magnified, especially those on the last two or 
three plates. The real size of the crystals observed by 
Scoresby varied from one thirty-fifth to one-third of an inch 
in diameter. Dr. Nettis remarks : " The natural size of 
most of the shining, quadrangular particles, and of the lit- 
tle stars of snow, as well the simple as the more compound 



PREFACE. 

ones, does not exceed the twentieth part of an inch." The 
dimensions 'as well as form of the crystals seem to depend 
upon the amount of vapor in the atmosphere, the temper- 
ature, and other circumstances not easy to specify. 

We may be permitted to express the hope that many of 
our readers will examine for themselves these beautiful 
productions of nature. In our own climate, the " treasures 
of the snow" are open to all who choose to explore themj 
and there can scarcely be an amusement more entertaining, 
and at the same time instructive, than that of observing 
and sketching these delicate crystals. No expensive or 
complicated apparatus is needed for this purpose. A good 
microscope is the chief requisite; besides which, a pair of 
dividers and a rule will be sufficient. We subjoin a state- 
ment from Mr. Glaisher of his own mode of making his 
examinations. 

" For the information of those who would carefully ob- 
serve snow-crystals, I may remark that my own plan of 
procedure is to expose a thick surface of plate-glass on the 
outer side of the window, resting on the ledge. Seated 
within the room, I am enabled, with comparative comfort, 
and at my leisure, to make my drawings and record my ob- 
servations, the accuracy of which I am able to verify to my 



PREFACE. 

satisfaction, as the crystal received upon the cold surface 
of the glass, itself several degrees below freezing, remains 
a sufficient length of time for the requirements of the ob- 
server. In many cases, it becomes frozen to the glass, and 
is thus secured from the influence of the wind, which not 
unfrequently snatches away some most intricate form from 
the desiring eye of the observer." 

If this work shall be the means of introducing any of 
our readers to the knowledge of this interesting depart- 
ment of the Creator's works, and eliciting those sentiments 
of admiration and reverence which his wonder-working 
power should inspire in every beholder, it will not have 

been issued in vain. 

I. P. W. 

BOSTON, 1863. 





1. ST-TOAV STRUCTURE, , ,-, 13 

a. UNITY I?* DIVERSITY, , 23 

3 Jt TC Jv J* iii O X? I C) ^r , .31 

4. PURITY, 41 

o. OR A.C E, 51 

6. BEAUTY, 63 



CONTENTS. 



7. AVKA-ICNES S, 



9. G-LA.DJSTKSS, 



2. INSTRUCTION-, 




75 



101 



115 



125 



1 39 



G\ 



[tnulur 




iji saitb to the Snofo, ge than on ibt htt of Ibt arib |ob 3Z : 8. 




the watery vapors in the 
atmosphere are in sufficient 
quantities to be precipitated to 
the earth, and at the same time 
their temperature is at or below 
the freezing point, their parti- 
cles unite, but not as fluid drops. 
In approaching each other they 
arrange themselves in regular 
figures, called crystals. The va- 
rious forms of these may be grouped into three gen- 
eral classes. 

1. Prismatic, having three or six sides, usually the 
latter (page 11, figs. 2, 4). Scoresby compares the 
finest specimens of these to " white hairs cut into 
lengths not exceeding a quarter of an inch." 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



2. Pyramidal, either triangular or hexagonal (figs. 
5, 6). They are exceedingly small, being only one- 
thirtieth of an inch in hight. 

3. Lamellar, consisting of thin and flat plates, 
some of them stelliform, having six points radiating 
from a center (fig. 11), and some hexagonal (page 
21, fig. 1). Both these species are in infinite abun- 
dance, and of all sizes, from the smallest speck to 
one-third of an inch in diameter. 

These three leading forms are endlessly combined, 
and give rise to innumerable varieties, from the sim- 
plest to the most complex. Pyramids are mounted 
on prisms, at one or both ends (page 11, figs. 7, 8) ; 
prisms are united in one star-like figure, like spokes 
of a wheel (fig. 10), and both are joined with plates 
in all conceivable forms of beauty and diversity. 
The specimens shown throughout our series of en- 
gravings illustrate these. The plates themselves 
are complex, showing within their outer boundaries 
white lines, which divide them into triangles, stars, 
hexagons, and other regular figures. Some plates 
are transparent, others opaque (page 21, fig. 13). 

When the prisms are combined with plates, it is 
generally in the same plane, but sometimes the for- 
mer are set perpendicularly to the surfaces of the 



14 



SNOW STRUCTURE. 



latter (page 29, figs. 18, 19, 20, 21). These singular 
figures resemble a wheel with its axle. Scoresby 
says that on one occasion, snow of this kind fell upon 
the deck of his ship to the depth of three or four 
inches ! 

In some instances the central plate has little prisms 
or spines projecting from it like hairs, on one or both 
sides, at an angle of sixty degrees. Sometimes, in- 
stead of a plate, the central part is a little rough 
mass like a hailstone, bristling with spines, somewhat 
resembling a chestnut-bur. 

Much attention has been given to the meteorolog- 
ical conditions of the atmosphere during the fall of 
snow, to ascertain in what circumstances the differ- 
ent varieties of crystals are produced. Nothing very 
definite, however, is discoverable in this respect. 
The general facts are thus summed up by Mr. 
Scoresby: "When the temperature of the air is 
within a degree or two of the freezing point, and 
much snow falls, it frequently consists of large, irreg- 
ular flakes, such as are common in Britain. Some- 
times it exhibits small granular, or large rough, white 
concretions ; at others it consists of white spiculae, or 
flakes composed of coarse spiculae, or rude, stellated 

crystals formed of visible grains. But in severe 

i 

15 ^ 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



frosts, though the sky appears perfectly clear, lamel- 
lar flakes of snow of the most regular and beautiful 
forms are always seen floating in the air and spark- 
ling in the sunbeams; and the snow which falls in 
general is of the most elegant texture and appear- 
ance." 

Of the hidden causes which originate these beauti- 
ful productions, nothing whatever is known. Some 
have imagined that they are to be found in the forms 
of the primal atoms of water, which are assumed to 
be triangles or hexagons, and which, therefore, unit- 
ing by their similar sides or edges, must give rise to 
crystals of regular forms. Others find the solution 
in magnetic or electrical affinities, which are sup- 
posed to require the particles to unite by some law 
of polar attraction. But even if these theories were 
demonstrated, they would explain nothing. Why the 
particles must unite in these particular methods, or 
what is the nature of attraction itself, no man knows. 
It is sufficient to say, with the learned and devout 
navigator who has done most to make us acquainted 
with these beautiful objects, " Some of the general 
varieties in the figures of the crystals may be re- 
ferred to the temperature of the air ; but the partic- 
ular and endless modifications of similar classes of 



Of 

SNOW STRUCTURE. 

crystals can only be referred to the will and pleasure 
of the great First Cause, whose works, even the 
most minute and evanescent, and in regions the 
most remote from human observation, are altogether 
admirable." 



Snow is formed in the higher regions of our atmos- 
phere. It is the wild, raging water of the ocean, the 
gentle rill of the mountains, the beautiful lake, and 
the vilest pond on earth, all taxed and made to con- 
tribute at the bidding of their Lord to this depart- 
ment of his treasure-house. They send up their 
tribute in the finest particles of moisture ; the steady 
contribution coming up from all parts of the globe 
indiscriminately. No matter what king claims the 
fields and rivers and mountains to minister to his 
wants, our God makes them all fill his treasury. The 
vapor comes up like gold, in grains and nuggets. It 
must be cast into the King's furnace and formed into 
his coin, before he can use it. Now tell me how he 
makes snow out of vapor. You can answer it in one 
sentence, by diminishing the heat. Easily said; 

but who can do it? A profound philosopher, in re- 

s 

~~ 17 ~ 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



marking on the magnificent glacial phenomenon of 
January, 1845, when for eight days there was one of 
the most wonderful displays of the effects of cold per- 
haps ever witnessed in our latitude, when the earth 
and every twig seemed covered with diamonds, says 
of it, " Job speaks of the balancing of the clouds as 
among the mysteries of ancient philosophy. But how 
much nicer the balancing and counter-balancing of 
the complicated agencies of the atmosphere, in order 
to bring out this glacial miracle in full perfection ! 
What wisdom and power short of infinite could have 
brought it about ? " It is equally appropriate to ask, 
What but infinite power could produce all the agen- 
cies and instruments needed in creating one flake of 
snow ? The tiny creature says, as you examine it, 



The hand that made me is divine I " 

Kirk. 




18 



SNOW STRUCTURE. 



The First Snow. 

LOVE to watch the first soft snow, 

As it slowly saileth down, 
Purer and whiter than the pearls 
That grace a monarch's crown; 
Though winter wears a freezing look 
And many a surly frown. 

It lighteth like the feathery down 

Upon the naked trees, 
And on the pale and withered flowers 

That swing in every breeze ; 
And they are clothed in such bright robes 

As summer never sees. 

It bringeth pleasant memories 

The falling, falling snow 
Of neighing steeds, and jingling bells, 

In the happy long ago, 
When hopes were bright, and health was good, 

And the spirits were not low. 

And it giveth many promises 
Of quiet joys in store, 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



Of bliss around the blazing hearth 

When daylight is no more, 
Such bliss as nowhere else hath lived 

Since the Eden days were o'er. 

God bless the eye that views, with mine, 

The falling snow to-day; 
May Truth her pure white mission spread 

Before its searching ray, 
And lead, with dazzling garments, toward 

The " strait and narrow way." 

Julia H. Scott. 



Pcboan. 

, o'er all the dreary North-land, 
Mighty Peboan, the Winter, 
Breathing on the lakes and rivers, 
Into stone had changed their waters ; 

From his hair he shook the snow-flakes 

Till the plains were strewn with whiteness, 

One uninterrupted level, 

As if, stooping, the Creator 

With his hand had smoothed them over. 

j Longfellow. 






20 




(it orb Ijatb |s foag in % fobirlfcrinb nnb in tbt storm. Itabunt 1 : 3. 





BEDIENCE to law is apparent in 
all the works of the Creator. 
However varied or complicated 
their structure, however intri- 
cate their motions, however 
B^S. multiform their aspects, there is 
an all-wise design pervading them, a clue 
running through all diversities, and re- 
ducing all to unity arid harmony in the 
grand scheme of the universe. The Lord hath his 
way in them all ; and that is the single line of right- 
eousness and beneficence. 

Amid the endless varieties of the snow crystals a 
singular law of unity is apparent. It is the angle of 
sixty degrees, or some multiple of it. This is one- 
sixth of the complete circle ; hence the hexiform or 

i 

23 ' 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



six-sided configuration of its prisms and plates. It is 
curious to glance over the patterns which we exhibit, 
and trace the operations of this law. Let the con- 
gealing vapor assume what fantastic shapes it will, 
let it riot in the profusion of its beautiful efflorations, 
yet it can never escape the control of that central 
attraction which binds them all in one. Hence their 
name, flakes, i. e., flocks ; the fleecy crystals, though 
spreading abroad each in its utmost individual lib- 
erty, being still retained within one ownership and 
belonging to one fold. 

Like this law of unity in nature is God's great law 
of love in his moral realm. It is the principle of 
order and harmony throughout his intelligent uni- 
verse. God's own nature is love, and it reigns 
among all the shining ranks of heaven. And in the 
numberless worlds which fill immensity, and through 
the utmost variety of capacities and grades of beings, 
it needs but the fulfillment of this law to secure uni- 
versal joy. Love is the one principle which binds all 
individuals and provinces of his rational kingdom to 
each other, and each to his throne. 



One great law of crystallization controls the whole 
snow world. Every flake has a skeleton as distinct 



24 



UNITY IN DIVERSITY. 



as the human skeleton, and yet the individual flake 
is as different from its neighbor as man is from his. 
The fundamental law of the snow is to crystallize 
in three, or some multiple of three. All its angles 
must be sixty, or one hundred and twenty. All its 
prisms and pyramids must be triangular or hexag- 
onal; whether spicular, or pyramidal, or lamellar, it 
ever conforms to its own great law of order, and 
thus conveys delight to the eye, and most delight 
to him who, having pleasure in the works of God, 
searches them out. 

Some men reproach the Protestant Church for its 
various sects. But let such men examine God's 
works. Unity in variety is the law of the snow. 
There is a Trinity in it. Every snow-flake imitates 
its Creator by being three in one. It has a stern 
basis of fundamental doctrine ; and it would excom- 
municate any snow-flake that tried to stand on any 
other. But around that fundamental unity is the 
free play of individual peculiarities. All snow-flakes 
are alike essentially, while probably no two are iden- 
tical in details. 




25 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



The Snow Shower. 

i-TILL falling, falling, falling fast, 
These messengers have come at last, 
All floating through the chilly air, 
On softest pinions, white and fair, 

Each like a dove with downy breast, 

High fluttering o'er its icy nest. 

So coming, coming, coming still 
From heaven, what daily blessings fill 
Life's chalice with full many a joy, 
Which Time's cold hand can not destroy ; 
So pure, so holy at their birth, 
They sweetly charm the ills of earth. 

Upon my heart, when lone and still, 
As freely may pure gifts distill, 
Awakening strains of sweetest peace, 
Whose melody shall never cease, 
Till, far beyond the reach of time, 
They swell heaven's harmony sublime. 

Drown. 



26 



UNITY IN DIVERSITY. 



To a Snow-Flake. 

HOU rain-drop, snow-crystalled, most fragile and fair ! 

Borne from the far cloud-land and fashioned in air, 
i 

What measures befit thee ? Some song of the spheres 
Should chant out thy praise, with the swift-rolling years. 

Like a gem cast in setting from heaven's bright floor, 
Thou art pure, and all perfect, like the One we adore. 

Three stars make thy glory, the mystical sign 

Of the Three named in heaven. One Spirit Divine ! 

I behold thee afar, lest a warm human touch, 

And the breath of my singing, with praise over-much, 

Should make thee to perish, thy grace disappear, 
And thy soft beauty vanish, dissolved in a tear. 

Like thee I have come from a realm far away, 
And like thee I shall live but a brief mortal day. 

Like thee I shall find neither haven nor rest, 

And descend like thee, once, to the Earth's frozen breast 

But thou shalt move onward, completing God's will 
Through the courses of Nature, thy round to fulfill ; 



27 



8NOW-FL* 

A drop in the river a flake mid the snows 
A gleam in the rainbow the dew on the rose. 

Then go, little snow-flake ! I prize thee not less, 
That our paths must divide, and I onward must press ; 

For I must mount upward yet higher and higher, 
Nevermore to descend with heart-baffled desire ; 

For the light of God's Being is kindled in mine, 
And my soul in his presence for ever must shine, 

Where the purest snow-crystal looks tarnished and dim, 
By the white jasper walls; where the saints' choral hymn 

Floats up day and night through the fair golden street, 
God's praise on their lips, and their crowns at his feet, 

Exchanging Earth's crosses, the frost and the blight, 
The snows of the valley, and mists of the night, 

The brightest earth-blossoms, all the world can afford, 
For Sharon's red rose, and the smile of the Lord. 

8. D. c. 





Iforb, Snofa anb Sapors, fnlfilling Ins focrb. |}salm 148 : 8. 



STRIKING characteristic of the 
snow crystal is its perfection of 
form. Whatever be the type of 
^ its structure, that type is com- 
pleted with the utmost regular- 
ity and nicety. Every angle is 
of the prescribed size, not a 
degree more or less. The num- 

T< 

ber of parts is uniform. You will never 
see a star with five rays, nor seven. With 
a precision which art would strive in vain to excel, 
the pattern is carried out in detail with the most 
exact symmetry, and in the most nicely-adjusted 
proportions. 

It is so in every snow-crystal, unless broken or 
otherwise injured. G-od has no show specimens in his 




31 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



cabinets, elaborately finished, while the mass of them 
are left imperfect. There are no obscure corners, no 
back apartments, where the half-formed, ill-shapen, 
abortive portions of his work are gathered, out of 
sight. The tiniest speck that is lost in the countless 
multitudes that robe the earth is as perfect as if the 
skill of the Creator had been expended upon this 
alone. The flake that falls in the vast polar solitudes, 
where no eye of man will ever see it, or that plunges 
to instant death in the ocean, is wrought with as 
much care and fidelity as if it were to sparkle in a 
regal crown. 

If there be apparent exceptions to this general 
statement, they are only apparent, and even these 
confirm the fact. In ordinary storms, large portions 
of the flakes are broken, sometimes reduced almost to 
shapeless dust. Often the flakes, coming in contact 
with each other, adhere, and constitute masses which 
are very irregular. Sometimes, however, this union 
gives rise to regular forms, as twelve-pointed stars, 
which are believed to be two hexagons, the one of 
them overlapping the other. (Page 11 fig. 22, 23.) 
A few cases have been observed where a ray or point 
of a star has become the germinating center of a twin 
or parasitic star, forming together a structure anoma- 

L I 

r 82 ~" 



PERFECTION. 



Ions as a whole, though regular in each of its indi- 
vidual parts. (Page 99 fig. 2.) 

This universal perfection of figure results from the 
constancy and uniformity of the laws which govern 
the process of crystallization. But it is not too much 
to go beyond these, and behold a Divine mind which 
loves beauty for its own sake, and delights to sow it 
broadcast throughout creation. Though there be no 
human eye to behold and to admire, they will not 
therefore be unbeheld. It is not true that 

" Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air." 

The universe is fuU of conscious intelligence, from 
him who is the " Father of lights," downward through 
endless ranks of being, and the hymn of admiring 
praise perpetually ascends to him for the perfection 
and glory of his works. 



Obey God. His laws to the snow-flake are de- 
signed to make it beautiful and useful. So are his 
laws to you. He tells the flake to put on such a form 
and go to such a place, and it goes without murmur- 
ing or reluctance. Obey God, and you will put on 
the beauty of holiness and bless the world. Kirk. 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



The ^mow-Flake. 

, if I fall, will it be my lot 
To be cast in some low and lonely spot, 
To melt, and to sink unseen and forgot? 
And there will my course be ended ? " 
'Twas thus a feathery snow-flake said, 
As down through measureless space it strayed, 
Or as, half by dalliance, half afraid, 
It seemed in mid-air suspended. 

" Oh, no ! " said the earth ; " thou shalt not lie 
Neglected and lone on my lap to die, 
Thou pure and delicate child of the sky ; 

For thou wilt be safe in my keeping. 
But then, I must give thee a lovelier form ; 
Thou wilt not be a part of the wintry storm, 
But revive, when the sunbeams are yellow and warm, 

And the flowers from my bosom are peeping ! 

" And then thou shalt have thy choice, to be 
Restored in the lily that decks the lea, 
In the jessamine bloom, the anemone, 

Or aught of thy spotless whiteness; 
To melt, and be cast, in a glittering bead, 
With the pearls that the night scatters over the mead, 
In the cup where the bee and the fire-fly feed, 

Regaining thy dazzling brightness. 



34 



PERFECTION. 



" I'll let thee awake from thy transient sleep, 
When Viola's mild blue eye shall weep, 
In a tremulous tear; or, a diamond, leap 

In a drop from the unlocked fountain; 
Or, leaving the valley, the meadow, and heath, 
The streamlet, the flowers, and all beneath, 
Go up, and be wove in the silvery wreath 

Encircling the brow of the mountain. 

" Or, wouldst thou return to a home in the skies, 
To shine in the Iris, I'll let thee arise, 
And appear in the many and glorious dyes 

A pencil of sunbeams is blending; 
But true, fair thing, as my name is Earth, 
I'll give thee a new and a vernal birth, 
When thou shalt recover thy primal worth, 

And never regret descending." 

" Then I will drop ! " said the trusting flake ; 
" But bear it in mind that the choice I make, 
Is not in the flowers nor the dew to wake, 

Nor the mist that shall pass with morning ; 
For, things of thyself, they will die with thee ; 
But those that are lent from on high, like me, 
Must rise, and will live, from the dust set free, 

To the regions above returning. 

85 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



" And, if true to thy word and just thou art, 
Like the spirit that dwells in the holiest heart, 
Unsullied by thee, thou wilt let me depart, 

And return to my native heaven. 
For I would be placed in the beautiful bow, 
From time to time in thy sight to glow. 
So thou mayst remember the Flake of Snow, 

By the promise that God has given ! " 

H. F. Gould. 



Mabefs Wonber. 

HERE must be flowers in heaven ! " 

Little Mabel wondering cried, 
As she gazed through the frosted window, 
" Ah yes, ah yes," I replied. 

" And every single blossom 

Is white as white can be ! " 
"Perhaps;" I carelessly answered. 

" When we get there, we shall see." 

" And oh, they have so many ! 

Why, every tree must be full ! " 
" Of course, Spring lasts for ever 

In heaven," I said, so dull. 



36 



PERFECTION. 



" Do the angels get tired of flowers ? " 

Asked she, with a gentle sigh ; 
" For see, oh see, they are throwing 

Whole handfuls down from the sky ! " 

I sprang to the frosted window, 

To see what the child could mean : 

The ground was covered with snow-flakes, 
And the air was full between. 

I kissed my innocent darling, 

And speedily set her right; 
While I prayed that her heart might ever 

Be pure as the snow and as light. 

H. E. B. 



It 



I T snows ! it snows ! from out the sky 
The feathered flakes, how fast they fly! 
Like little birds, that don't know why, 
They're on the chase from place to place, 

While neither can another trace. 

It snows ! it snows ! a merry play 

Is o'er us on this heavy day. 

37 



Like dancers in an airy hall 
That has not room to hold them all, 
While some keep up, and others fall, 
The atoms shift, then thick and swift 
They drive along to form the drift 
That, weaving up, so dazzling white, 
Is like a rising wall of light. 

But now the wind comes whistling loud, 

To snatch and waft it as a cloud, 

Or giant phantom in a shroud. 

It spreads ; it curls ; it mounts and whirls ; 

At length a mighty wing unfurls ; 

And then, away ! but where, none knows, 

Or ever will. It snows ! it snows ! 

To-morrow will the storm be done; 

Then out will come the golden sun, 

And we shall see upon the run 

Before his beams, in sparkling streams, 

What now a curtain o'er him seems. 

And thus with life it ever goes 

'Tis shade and shine ! It snows ! it snows ! 

H. F, Gould. 




Jjer Uajaritrs fern purer than Snofo. Jfanuntaiiona 4 : 1. 




URTTY is one of the most strik- 
ing characteristics of the new- 
fallen snow. "It is," says Sturm, 
" a result of the congregated 
reflections of light from the in- 
numerable small faces of the 
crystals. The same effect is 
produced when ice is crushed to frag- 
ments. It is extremely light and thin, 
consequently full of pores, and these con- 
tain air ; it is farther composed of parts more or less 
compact, and such a substance does not admit the 
sun's rays to pass, neither does it absorb them ; on 
the contrary, it reflects them very powerfully, and this 
gives it the dazzling white appearance we see in it." 




41 



Or 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



You shall look out upon a gray, frozen earth, and a 
gray, chilling sky. The trees stretch forth naked 
branches imploringly. The air pinches and pierces 
you ; a homesick desolation clasps around your shiv- 
ering, shrinking frame, and then God works a miracle. 
The windows of heaven are opened, and there comes 
forth a blessing. The gray sky unlocks her treasures, 
and softness and whiteness and warmth and beauty 
float gently down upon the evil and the good. 
Through all the long night, while you sleep, the work 
goes noiselessly on. Earth puts off her earthliness ; 
and when the morning comes, she stands before you 
in the white robes of a saint. The sun hallows her 
with baptismal touch, and she is glorified. There is 
no longer on her pure brow any thing common or 
unclean. The Lord God hath wrapped her about 
with light as with a garment. His divine charity 
hath covered the multitude of her sins, and there is 
no scar or stain, no " mark of her shame," or " s"eal of 
her sorrow." The far-off hills swell their white purity 
against the pure blue of the heaven. The sheeted 
splendor of the fields sparkles back a thousand suns 
for one. The trees lose their nakedness and misery 

42 



PURITY. 



and desolation, and every slenderest twig is clothed 
upon with glory. 

Wheat-fields, corn-fields, and meadow-lands are all 
alike wrapped by its dazzling mantle. Here and 
there some straggling weeds refuse to be hidden, and 
stand up in unsightly contrast with the pure white 
surface around them. The stone walls, entirely con- 
cealed, only look like a low ridge ; but the snow 
can not contrive to cover up the rail-fences, but 
only heap up a bank by their side. The woods, with 
their bare trunks and intermingling branches, cast 
a shadow, notwithstanding the absence of leaves, 
and we are glad again to come into the warm sun- 
shine. Evergreens do not brighten a winter land- 
scape. They seem as if they were mourning in 
sympathy with their spoiled brethren of the forest ; 
and look dusky and almost black, like somber senti- 
nels along the road. The snow sparkles with its 
crystals. What purity ! " Whiter than snow ! " The 
longing of the soul for purity, the faith in the 
cleansing power that is able thus to purify, are 
breathed in the prayer, " Wash me, and I shall be 
whiter than snow ! " 

The deep, deep snow offers no temptations to 
wander in the fields, or step away from the beaten 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



track. One well-defined road, from which the driver 
reluctantly turns aside on meeting another sleigh, 
has alone broken the crust on its surface, and deter- 
mines its depth. Foot-passengers step out into the 
deep snow, and wait till the sleigh passes, but are 
glad at once to step back again. How well would 
it be if Christians thus dreaded to step aside from 
the narrow way that leadeth unto life, and were as 
ready to return to its secure footing, the path 
beaten by blessed foot-prints ! Beecher. 



What comes from heaven is pure ; but the tendency 
is to soil it, and that which keeps nearest heaven 
most escapes the pollution of earth. At the foot of 
the Alps you find the roaring, muddy stream, the 
clay-stained snow. But on the summit of Mt. Blanc 
is a pure robe of celestial white, never stained, only 
sometimes covered with a roseate gauze to salute the 
setting sun. Kirk. 



The snow is very beautiful when it has first fallen. 
Many of our poets have had recourse to the snow- 
flake for some of their finest poetical images ; nor do 



44 



PURITY. 



I know a fitter emblem of innocence and purity than 
a falling flake, ere it receives the stain of earth. 
There are but few things with which we can com- 
pare snow for purity. The Psalmist says, " He giv- 
eth the snow like wool ; he scattereth the hoar frost 
like ashes." " Wash me, and I shall be whiter than 
snow." Milton has made beautiful allusion to it in 
his hymn on the Nativity, where he says, 

" It was the winter mild, 

While the heaven-born Child 
All meanly wrapped in the rude manger lies; 

Nature in her awe to Him 

Had defied her gaudy trim, 
With her great Master so to sympathize. 

It was no season then for her 

To wanton with the sun, her lusty paramour. 

" Only with speeches fair 

She woos the gentle air 
To hide her guilty front with innocent snow ; 

And on her naked shame, 

Pollute with sinful blame, 
The saintly vail of maiden white to throw, 

Confounded that her Maker's eyes 

Should look so near upon her foul deformities." 

T. Miller. 

I 

45 '< 



SNOW-FLAKES. 




Die Snow-Wreath. 

, what is so pure, so soft, or so bright, 
As a wreath of the new-fallen snow ! 
It seems as if brushed from the garments of light, 
To fall on us mortals below. 



But here is no home for thee, child of the sky ; 

Thy purity here must decay, 
Thy being be transient, thy beauty all die, 

Nor a trace of thy loveliness stay. 

Go, go to the mountain-top, there make thy nest ; 

'Tis nearer thy own native home ; 
And live on its peak like a silvery crest, 
Where nothing to soil thee can come. 

This emblem how apt of a virtuous mind 

Made pure by the Spirit divine ! 
Like a snow-wreath 'tis marred in a world so unkind, 

Fit only in heaven to shine. 

J. B. Waterbury. 



40 




PURITY. 



The First Snow. 

0-DAY has been a pleasant day, 
Despite the cold and snow : 
Sabbath stillness filled the air, 
And pictures slumbered every where, 
Around, above, below. 

We woke at dawn and saw the trees 

Before our windows white; 
Their limbs were clad with snow-like bark, 
Save that the under sides were dark, 

Like bars against the light. 

The fence was white around the house, 

The lamp before the door; 
The porch was glazed with pearled sleet, 
Great drifts lay in the silent street, 

The street was seen no more ! 

Long trenches had been roughly dug, 
And giant foot-prints made; 

But few were out; the streets were bare; 

I saw but one pale wanderer there, 
And he was like a shade ! 



47 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



I seemed to walk another world, 
Where all was still and blest; 

The cloudless sky, the stainless snows, 

It was a vision of repose, 

A dream of heavenly rest, 

A dream the holy night completes ; 

For now the moon hath come, 
I stand in heaven with folded wings, 
A free and happy soul that sings 

When all things else are dumb ! 

Richard Henry Stoddard. 



HROUG-H the hushed air the whitening shower 

descends, 

^* At first thin-wavering, till at last the flakes 
> Fall broad and wide and fast, dimming the day 
With a continual flow. The cherished fields 
Put on their winter robe of purest white ; 
'Tis brightness all, save where the new snow melts 
Along the mazy current. Low the woods 
Bow their hoar head; and, ere the languid sun 
Faint from the west emits its evening ray, 
Earth's universal face, deep-hid and chill, 
Is one wide dazzling waste, that buries wide 
The works of man. 

Thomson. 
48 




|"orir gifattjj JSnnfai liht feool. |)saIm4Z:10. 



OLD and dreary as winter is, 
it is not devoid of interest to 
the man of taste and Christian 
sentiment. Look at the del- 
icate snow-flake. With what 
grace of motion has God en- 
dowed it ! How childlike, gen- 
tly, peacefully, confidingly the 
little creature comes down in- 
to our turbulent earth ! It is not dif- 
ficult to conceive that it comes as an attendant on 
some angel, whose movements it imitates. Kirk. 




We have sat and watched the fall of snow until 
our head grew dizzy, for it is a bewitching sight to 
persons speculatively inclined. There is an aimless 
way of riding down, a simple, careless, thoughtless 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



motion, that leads you to think that nothing can be 
more nonchalant than snow. And then it rests upon 
a leaf or alights upon the ground, with such a dainty 
step, so softly, so quietly, that you almost pity its 
virgin helplessness. If you reach out your hand to 
help it, your very touch destroys it. It dies in your 
palm, and departs as a tear. 

Nowhere is snow so beautiful as when one sojourns 
in a good old-fashioned mansion in the country, bright 
and warm, full of home joy and quiet. You look out 
through large windows and see one of those flights 
of snow in a still, calm day, that make the air seem 
as if it were full of white millers or butterflies, flut- 
tering down from heaven. There is something ex- 
tremely beautiful in the motion of these large flakes 
of snow. They do not make haste, nor plump 
straight down with a dead fall, like a whistling rain- 
drop. They seem to be at leisure ; and descend with 
that quiet, wavering, sideway motion which birds 
sometimes use when about to alight. You think you 
are reading ; and so you are, but it is not in the book 
that lies open before you. The silent, dreamy hour 
passes away, and you have not felt it pass. The 
trees are dressed with snow. The long arms of 
evergreens bend with its weight ; the rails are 



62 



o \ 



doubled, and every post wears a starry crown. The 
well-sweep, the bucket, the well-curb are fleeced 
over. And still the silent, quivering air is full of 
trooping flakes, thousands following to take the place 
of all that fall. The ground is heaped, the paths are 
gone, the road is hidden, the fields are leveled, the 
eaves of buildings jut over, and, as the day moves 
on, the fences grow shorter, and gradually sink from 
sight. All night the heavens rain crystal flakes. 
Yet, that roof, on which the smallest rain pattered 
audible music, gives no sound. There is no echo in 
the stroke of snow, until it waxes to an avalanche 
and slips from the mountains. Then it fills the air 
like thunderbolts. Beecher. 



Falling snow is beautiful in a forest. It comes 
wavering down among the trees without a whisper, 
and takes to the ground without the sound of a foot- 
fall. Evergreen trees grow intense in contrasts of 
dark-green ruffled with radiant white. Bush and 
tree are powdered and banked up. Not the slight- 
est sound is made in all the work which fills the 
woods with winter soil many feet deep. When the 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



morning comes, then comes the sun also. The storm 
has gone back to its northern nest to shed its feath- 
ers there. The air is still, cold, bright. But what a 
glory rests upon the too brilliant earth ! Are these 
the January leaves? is this the winter efflorescence 
of shrub and tree ? You can scarcely look for the 
exceeding brightness. Trees stand up against the 
clear, gray sky, brown and white in contrast, as if 
each trunk and bough and branch and twig had 
been coated with ermine, or with white moss. 
There is an exquisite airiness and lightness in the 
masses of snow on trees and fences, when seen just 
as the storm left them. The wind or sun soon dis- 
enchants the magic scene. Ib - 




GRACE. 



The Snoo7-Storm. 

: NNOUNCED by all the trumpets of the sky 
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields, 

^f Seems no where to alight ; the whited air 
>io 

Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven, 

And vails the farm-house at the garden's end. 
The sled and traveler stopped, the courier's feet 
Delayed, all friends shut out, the house-mates sit 
Around the radiant fireplace, inclosed 
In a tumultuous privacy of storm. 

Come see the north-wind's masonry. 
Out of an unseen quarry, evermore 
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer 
Carves his white bastions, with projected roof 
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door, 
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work 
So fanciful, so savage; naught cares he 
For number or proportion. Mockingly 
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths; 
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn ; 
Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall, 
Mauger the farmer's sighs, and at the gate 
A tapering turret overtops the work. 
And when his hours are numbered, and the world 
Is all his own, retiring as he were not, 



G 



Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art 
To mimic, in those structures, stone by stone, 
Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work, 
The frolic architecture of the snow. 

R. W. Emerson. 



The Spirit of the Snow. 

f^r? HE night brings forth the morn ; 
^JL)) Of the cloud is lightning born ; 
From out the darkest earth the brightest roses grow; 
Bright sparks from black flints fly: 
And from out a leaden sky 
Comes the silvery-footed Spirit of the Snow. 

The wondering air grows mute, 

As her pearly parachute 
Cometh slowly down from heaven, softly floating to and fro; 

And the earth emits no sound, 

As lightly on the ground 
Leaps the silvery-footed Spirit of the Snow. 

At the contact of her tread, 
The mountain's festal head 
As with chaplets of white roses seems to glow ; 



GRACE. 

And its furrowed cheeks grow white, 
With a feeling of delight, 
At the presence of the Spirit of the Snow. 

As she wendeth to the vale, 
The longing fields grow pale, 

The tiny streams that vein them cease to flow j 
And the river stays its tide, 
With wonder and with pride, 

To gaze upon the Spirit of the Snow. 

But little does she deem 

The love of field or stream ; 
She is frolicsome and lightsome- as the roe ; 

She is here and she is there ; 

On the earth or in the air, 
Ever-changing, floats the Spirit of the Snow. 

Now, a daring climber, she 
Mounts the tallest forest tree, 

Out along the dizzy branches doth she go ! 
And her tassels, silver- white, 
Down-swinging through the night, 

Mark the pillow of the Spirit of the Snow. 

Now she climbs the mighty mast, 
Where the sailor-boy at last 
Dreams of home, in his hammock down below ; 

67 



at 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



There she watches in his stead, 
Till the morning light shines red, 
Then evanishes the Spirit of the Snow. 

Or, crowning with white fire 

The minster's topmost spire 
With a glory such as sainted foreheads show, 

She teaches fanes are given 

Thus to lift the heart to heaven, 
There to melt like the Spirit of the Snow. 

Now above the loaded wain, 
Now beneath the thundering train, 

Doth she hear the sweet bells tinkle and the snorting en- 
gine blow ; 

Now she flutters on the breeze, 
Till the branches of the trees 

Catch the tossed and tangled tresses of the Spirit of the 
Snow. 

Now an infant's balmy breath 
Gives the Spirit seeming death, 

When adown her pallid features fair, Decay's damp dew- 
drops flowj 

Now, again her strong assault 
Can make an army halt, 
And trench itself in terror 'gainst the Spirit of the Snow. 

I 
68 



GRACE. 



At times, with gentle power, 

In visiting some bower, 
She scarce will hide the holly's red, the blackness of the sloe; 

But ah ! her awful might, 

When down some Alpine hight 
The hapless hamlet sinks before the Spirit of the Snow. 

On a feather she floats down 

The turbid rivers brown, 
Down to meet the drifting navies of the winter-freighted foe; 

Then swift o'er the azure walls 

Of the awful waterfalls, 
Where Niagara leaps roaring, glides the Spirit of the Snow. 

With her flag of truce unfurled, 

She makes peace o'er all the world, 
Makes bloody battle cease awhile, and war's unpitying woe ; 

Till its hollow womb within 

The deep-mouthed culverin 
Incloses, like a cradled child, the Spirit of the Snow. 

In her spotless linen hood, 

Like the other sisterhood, 

She braves the open cloister where the psalm soupds sweet 
and low, 

When some sister's bier doth pass 

From the minster and the mass, 
Soon to sink into the earth, like the Spirit of the Snow. 



59 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



But at times so full of joy, 
She will play with girl and boy, 
Fly from out their tingling fingers, like white fire-balls on 

the foe ; 

She will burst in feathery flakes ; 
And the ruin that she makes 

Will but wake the crackling laughter of the Spirit of the 
Snow. 

Or, in furry mantle dressed, 

She will fondle on her breast 
The embryo buds awaiting the near Spring's mysterious throe 

So fondly that the first 

Of the blossoms that outburst 

Will be called the beauteous daughter of the Spirit of the 
Snow. 

Ah ! would that we were sure 

Of hearts so warmly pure, 
In all the winter weather that this lesser life must know; 

That when shines the Sun of Love 

From a wa.rmer realm above, 
In its life we may dissolve, like the Spirit of the Snow. 

Dublin University Magazine. 



.ill 




\t atb mabe rbm> ibing beautiful in (us tinu. CccUsiastts 3:11. 




NOW is the adornment of win- 
ter. Its beauty is a compensa- 
tion for the loss of the flowers 
and foliage of the milder sea- 
sons. When Nature has put off 
her green robes, when the fields 
have become bare, the streams 
and lakes ice-bound, and the 
hum of the bees and the songs 
of the birds are no longer heard, 

then God opens his treasure-house and brings forth 
jewels for the coronation of the year. He throws 
over the earth a robe of purest white, he festoons 
each shrub and tree with diamonds and pearls, and 
bids every beholder rejoice in these manifestations 



63 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



of his skill. For all the beauty of the earth is but 
the outward expression of the beauty which dwells 
eternal in the Divine Mind. Each six-leaved blossom 
of winter had its pattern in his thought before it was 
created ; and all the diversities of its forms show the 
wealth of his resources even in the smallest things. 
So God has not left himself " without witness " for a 
single season. Each has its message from heaven, 
unfolding his glories, and bidding man behold and 
adore. 



All the roofs are blanketed with snow ; all the 
fences are bordered. . Every gate-post is statuesque : 
every wood-pile is a marble quarry. Harshest out- 
lines are softened. Instead of angles and ruggedness 
and squalor, there are billowy, fleecy undulations. 
Nothing so rough, so common, so ugly, but it has 
been transfigured into newness of life. Every where 
the earth has received beauty for ashes, the oil of joy 
for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of 
heaviness. Without sound of hammer or ax, with- 
out the grating of saw or the click of chisel, prose has 
been sculptured into poetry. The actual has put on 
the silver vail of the ideal. Gail Hamilton. 



BEAUTY. 

It is almost impossible to paint the glory of the 
northern winter forests. Every tree, laden with the 
purest snow, resembled a Gothic fountain of bronze, 
covered with frozen spray, through which only sug- 
gestive glimpses of its delicate tracery could be ob- 
tained. From every side we looked over thousands 
of such mimic fountains, shooting low or high, from 
their pavements of ivory and alabaster. It was an 
enchanted wilderness, white, silent, gleaming, and 
filled with inexhaustible forms of beauty. To what 
shall I liken those glimpses under the boughs, into the 
depths of the forest, where the snow destroyed all 
perspective, and brought the remotest fairy nooks and 
coverts, too lovely and fragile to seem cold, into the 
glittering foreground ? " Wonderful ! " " Glorious ! " 
I could only exclaim in breathless admiration. 

Bayard Taylor. 



The forests were indescribable in their silence, 
whiteness, and wonderful variety of snowy adornment. 
The weeping birches leaned over the road and form- 
ed white-fringed arches ; the firs wore mantles of 
ermine, and muffs and tippets of the softest swan's 
down. Snow, wind, and frost had wrought the most 



65 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



marvelous transformations. Here were kneeling nuns 
with their arms hanging listlessly by their sides, and 
the white cowls falling over their faces. There lay 
a warrior's helmet; lace curtains, torn and ragged, 
hung from the points of little Gothic spires. Caverns, 
lined with sparry incrustations, silver palm-leaves, 
doors, loop-holes, arches, and cascades were thrown 
together in fantastic confusion, and mingled with the 
more decided forms of the larger trees, which were 
trees but in form, so completely were they wrapped 
in their dazzling disguise. It was an enchanted land, 
where you scarcely dared breathe, lest a breath might 
break the spell. Ib . 



The new snow had fallen on the mountains, and the 
vast basin of the Monte Rosa chain lay before us, 
clothed in flowing robes of the most pure and spotless 
white ; while every little nook and ledge, and ine- 
quality of rock on which the snow could rest, was 
covered with the same virgin luster, so that it looked 
as if the sides of the craggy mountains were flecked 
and dashed with spray, and as if' myriads of foaming 
torrents were coursing down the precipices, streak- 
ing their surface with their white tracks in every 
i 

> 66 



BEAUTY. 

direction. After we turned to the right and began 
the ascent, the light became stronger, and the outline 
sharper, and our view of the vast glacier basin more 
uninterrupted and clear. The valley of Macregnaga 
goes very far into the heart of the mountain, so that 
all the snowy part of Monte Eosa rises in one great 
mass directly above it. The sun came up, and for 
two or three minutes, not more, all the upper part of 
this vast region of snow was dyed of the deepest 
crimson, not pink, as an evening view of the Alps 
often is ; then, for much longer, it was of the most 
brilliant gold, just the color of a new sovereign; 
and then, as the sun overtopped the lower mountains, 
and their shadows were no longer thrown upward, 
this gorgeous coloring gave place to a dazzling glare. 
Miles off, as we were, we could hardly look at the 
snowy basin without blinking. wills. 



There is in us a want of taste to appreciate the ex- 
quisite beauty of the snow-flakes that we tread under 
foot. There is a narrow selfishness which does not 
even inquire what are the moral or esthetic uses of 
the snow ; but is contented or sad to see it come upon 

the earth, according as it affects our arrangements 

i 

67 ' 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



and wishes. Our education has this radical defect, 
that it does- not teach us to make the senses the 
instruments of our higher faculties ; to study nature, 
to revere every thing that God makes; that it fails 
to form us to the highest exercises of which we are 
capable, and leaves us ignorant of some of the most 
interesting and important objects of knowledge: God, 
his word, his works and ourselves. Kirk. 



HERE 's beauty all around our paths, 

If but our watchful eyes 
Can trace it, mid familiar things, 
And through their lowly guise. 
We may find it in the winter boughs, 

As they cross the cold blue sky, 
While soft on icy pool and stream 

Their penciled shadows lie; 
When we look upon their tracery, 

By the fairy frost-work bound, 
Whence the flitting red-breast shakes a shower 
Of crystals to the ground. 

Hemans. 
68 



BEAUTY. 



The Beautiful Snow. 



i H the snow ! the beautiful snow ! 
Filling the sky and the earth below, 
Over the house-tops, over the street, 
Over the heads of the people you meet. 
Dancing, 

Flirting, 

Skimming along, 

Beautiful snow ! it can do nothing wrong ; 
Flying to kiss a fair lady's cheek, 
Clinging to lips in a frolicsome freak ; 
Beautiful snow from the heavens above, 
Pure as an angel, and fickle as love ! 

Oh the snow ! the beautiful snow ! 
How the flakes gather and laugh as they go ! 
Whirling about in its maddening fun ; 
It plays in its glee with every one. 
Chasing, 

Laughing, 

Hurrying by, 

It lights up the face, and sparkles the eye ; 
And even the dogs, with a bark and a bound, 
Snap at the crystals that eddy around : 
The town is alive, and its heart in a glow, 
To welcome the coming of beautiful snow. 

69 ' 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



How the wild crowd goes swaying along, 
Hailing each other with humor and song! 
How the gay sledges, like meteors flash by, 
Bright for the moment, then lost to the eye! 
Ringing, 

Swinging, 

Dashing they go, 

Over the crust of the beautiful snow, 
Snow so pure when it falls from the sky, 
To be trampled in mud by the crowd rushing by. 
To be trampled and tracked by thousands of feet. 
Till it blends with the filth in the horrible street. 



"Once I was pure as the snow but I fell; 
Fell like the snow-flake, from heaven to hell; 
Fell, to be trampled as filth of the street, 
Fell to be scoffed, derided, and beat, 
Pleading, 

Cursing, 

Dreading to die, 

Selling my soul to whomever would buy; 
Dealing in shame for a morsel of bread, 
Hating the living, and fearing the dead: 
Merciful God ! have I fallen so low ? 
And yet I was once like this beautiful snow ! 

TO 



BEAUTY. 

" Once I was fair as this beautiful snow, 
With an eye like its crystals, a heart like its glow ; 
Once I was loved for my innocent grace, 
Flattered and sought for the charm of my face. 
Father, 

Mother, 

Sister, all, 

God and myself I have lost by the fall. 
The veriest wretch that goes shivering by 
Will take a wide sweep lest I venture too nigh ; 
For of all that is on or about me, I know, 
There is nothing that's pure but the beautiful snow. 



" How strange it should be that this beautiful snow 
Should fall on a sinner with no where to go ! 
How strange it would be, when the night comes again, 
If the snow and the ice struck my desperate brain ! 
Fainting, 

Freezing, 

Dying alone, 

Too wicked for prayer, too weak for my moan 
To be heard in the crash of the crazy town, 
Gone wild in their joy at the snow's coming down, 
To lie and to die in my terrible woe, 
With a bed and a shroud in the beautiful snow ! " 



71 



f 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



Helpless and foul as the trampled snow, 
Sinner, despair not ! Christ stoopeth low, 
To rescue the soul that is lost in its sin, 
And raise it to life and enjoyment again. 
Groaning, 

Bleeding, 

Dying, for thee, 

The Crucified hung on the accursed tree ! 
His accents of mercy fall soft on thine ear. 
" Is there mercy for me ? Will he heed my weak prayer ? 
God ! in the stream that for sinners did flow, 
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow ! " 

Selected. 





<T be stream of brooks .... fe^eretn tb^e Smofo is bib. |ob 6 : lo. 




IGHTNESS and weakness are 
symbolized by the snow. You 
can not draw near one of these 
delicate crystals without danger 
of destroying it. Your breath 
will melt it ; nay, even the radia- 
tion of warmth from your person 
will, ere you are aware, crum- 
ble down the whole fairy struc- 
ture so elaborately wrought. It 
floats down, the sport of every breath of air. It can 
not ruffle the feather of a bird by its falling. It per- 
ishes if the sun looks at it. Yet God takes care of 
it, numbers it among his treasures. It is not over- 
looked by him amid all its fellows. When it dies 
in a tear, God bottles that tear and keeps it still in 

75 



Or 

SNOW-FLAKES. 



his treasure-house. Fear not, ye of little faith; ye 
are of more value than mountains of snow-flakes. 
Does the Almighty create and delight in it, preserve 
and guide this little creature, and will he not take 
care of you, and delight to make you beautiful in 
holiness, and serviceable in his kingdom ? Look up 
when it storms. The sun is on the other side. God 
guides the cloud, the wind, the rain, and the snow, 
and numbers the hairs of your head. Kirk . 



Do a little good at a time, and all the time. The 
Himalaya is ordered to put on a new robe. How is 
it to be done ? Will a mighty vestment drop from 
heaven and encircle the mighty ranges of her peaks ? 
No ; millions of little maids of honor will come down, 
and each one contribute some little thread to weave 
the splendid robe. And by every one doing the little 
committed to it, the giant mountain stands robed in 
its celestial garment. You organize a Sunday school 
among neglected children, and go every Sunday, like 
a little snow-flake, to add present labor to past. Keep 
on ; that is the way the Himalaya gets its robe. 

No good is lost. Stop not to count your converts, 
to weigh the results of your labors, but keep on like 



70 



WEAKNESS. 



the gentle snow, flake after flake, without noise or 
parade. Parent, teacher, preacher, patriot, work on ! 

Ib. 



We see the instability of snow, and the rapidity 
with which it disappears when played upon by the 
sunbeams, or exposed to the effects of a humid, mild 
air, and frequent showers. Frequently the whole 
aspect of nature, in a few hours, assumes a new ap- 
pearance, and scarcely a trace of snow is left behind. 
By these sudden changes we may justly be reminded 
of the inconstancy and vanity of all human affairs. 
Fleeting as the snow beneath the sunbeams are all 
the enjoyments and gratifications which do not arise 
from the influence of religion, the exercise of the 
mind, and the feelings of the heart ; if we cultivate 
these, we shall be enabled to enjoy a portion of that 
felicity which endureth for ever, the sure reward 
of virtue and a well-spent life. sturm . 



Soon another silent force will come forth, and a 
noiseless battle will ensue, in which this now innumer- 
able army of snow-flakes shall be itself vanquished. 



77 



SNOW-FLAfES. 



A rain-drop is stronger than a snow-flake. One by 
one, the armed drops will dissolve the crystals and 
let forth the spirit imprisoned in them. Descending 
quickly into the earth, the drops shall search the 
roots, and give their breasts to myriad mouths. The 
bud shall open its eye, the leaf shall lift up its head, 
the grass shall wave its spear, and the forests hang 
out their banners ! How significant is this silent, 
gradual, but irresistible power of rain and snow of 
moral truth in this world ! " For, as the rain cometh 
down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not 
thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring 
forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower 
and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that 
goeth forth out of my mouth ; it shall not return unto 
me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, 
and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." 

Beecher. 




7s 



WEAKNESS. 



Nothing JLost. 




^HERE is the snow ? 

'Tis not long ago 
It covered the earth with a vail of white ; 
We heard not its footsteps soft and light, 
Yet there it was in the morning bright; 
Now it hath vanished away from sight. 
Not a trace remains 
In fields or lanes. 

Where is the frost ? 

It is gone and lost 
The forms of beauty last night it made ; 
With pictures rare were windows arrayed; 
" Be silent ! " it said ; the brook obeyed ; 
Yet silence and pictures all did fade. 

At the smile of the sun, 

All was undone. 

Where is the rain? 

Pattering it came, 
Dancing along with a merry sound, 
A grassy bed in the fields it found ; 
Each drop came on the roof with a bound. 
Where is the rain ? It hath left the ground. 

What good hath it done 

Gone away so soon ? 

79 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



Ever, ever, 

Our best endeavor 

Seemeth to fall like the melted snow. 
We work out our thoughts wisely and slow; 
The seed we sow, but it will not grow. 
Our hopes, our resolves, where do they go? 

What doth remain? 

Memory and pain. 

Nothing is lost, 

No snow nor frost 

That comes to enrich the earth again. 
We thank them when the ripening grain 
Is waving over the hill and plain, 
And the pleasant rain springs from earth again. 

All endeth in good, 

Water and food. 

Never despair; 

Disappointment bear; 

Though hope seemeth vain, be patient still; 
Thy good intent God doth fulfill; 
Thy hand is weak; his powerful will 
Is finishing thy life-work still. 

The good endeavor 

Is lost ah ! never. 

Selected. 

80 



WEAKNESS. 



Snow-Flakes. 

EE the feathery snow-flakes 
Falling from the sky ! 
Myriads ; yet so softly, 

There's no sound or sigh. 
Mother Earth's brown raiment 

Doffs she for her white; 
For a fairy's wand, transforming, 
Hides it out of sight. 

Fairy little snow-flakes, 

Dancing as ye fall, 
Resting on the rough old rock 

By the garden wall, 
There's no spot so dreary, 

Naught so black and cold, 
But your mantle may o'erspread 

With its falling fold. 

Starry little snow-flakes, 

Blossoms of the sky. 
Blooming when earth's daisies 

Fast asleep all lie, 
Are ye beauty's raiment, 

On her bridal morn ? 
Or the floating garments 

By the frost fays worn ? 



Tell me, mystic snow-flakes, 

Is your home so far 
You can hear the singing 

Of the morning star? 
Hear the grand, sweet chorus, 

As the spheres move on, 
In their slow, majestic march 

Round the great white throne ? 

What are ye, fair snow-flakes, 

To the King of kings ? 
Unto Him who walketh 

On the wind's swift wings, 
Maketh clouds his chariot, 

Light no man can see 
Weareth for a garment, 

Snow-flakes, what are ye ? 

Of his spotless purity 

But a shadow dim 
And the silence of our coming 

Speaketh, too, of Him. 
Mortals, stay your tear-drops ! 

One day you shall know 
What it is to be, like Him, 

"Whiter than the snow." 

H. Maude H. 
82 



The Snou?-Shou?er. 

^-TAND here by my side, and turn, I pray, 

On the lake below thy gentle eyes ; 
The clouds hang over it heavy and gray, 

And dark and silent the water lies ; 
And out of that frozen mist the snow 
In wavering flakes begins to flow ; 

Flake after flake, 
They sink in the dark and silent lake. 

See how in a living swarm they come 

From the chambers beyond that misty vail; 

Some hover awhile in the air, and some 
Rush from the sky like summer hail. 

All, dropping swiftly or settling slow, 

Meet and are still in the depth below; 
Flake after flake. 

Dissolved in the dark and silent lake. 

Here, delicate snow-stars, out of the cloud, 
Come floating downward in airy play, 

Like spangles dropped from the glistening crowd 
That whitens by night the milky way ; 

There broader and burlier masses fall : 

The sullen water buries them all, 
Flake after flake, 

All drowned in the dark and silent lake. 



63 



And some, as on tender wings they glide 
From their chilly birth-cloud dim and gray, 

Are joined in their fall, and, side by side, 
Come clinging along their unsteady way; 

As friend with friend, or husband with wife, 

Makes hand in hand the passage of life : 
Each mated flake 

Soon sinks in the dark and silent lake. 

Lo ! while we are gazing, in swifter haste 
Stream down the snows till the air is white, 

As, myriads by myriads madly chased, 

They fling themselves from their shadowy hight 

The fair frail creatures of middle sky, 

What speed they make with their grave so nigh ; 
Flake after flake 

To lie in the dark and silent lake ! 

I see in thy gentle eyes a tear ; 

They turn to me in sorrowful thought ; 
Thou thinkest of friends, the good and the dear, 

Who were for a time and now are not; 
Like these fair children of cloud and frost, 
That glisten a moment, and then are lost, 

Flake after flake, 
All lost in the deep and silent lake. 



84 



WEAKNESS. 



Yet look again, for the clouds divide ; 

A gleam of blue on the mountain lies, 
And far away on the mountain-side 

A sunbeam falls from the opening skies; 
But the hurrying host, that flew between 
The cloud and the water, no more is seen ; 

Flake after flake 
At rest in the dark and silent lake. 

William Cullen Bryant. 



Questions anb Answers. 

I RETTY little snow-flake, 

Floating softly by, 
Bringest thou a message 
From the fleecy sky ? 

Yes, ah, yes, a lesson 

Beautiful as true ; 
Silent be, but busy, 

When you've work to do. 
Avalanche and snow-drift 

Grow from single flakes; 
Every crystal helping, 

Yet no noise it makes. 



85 ^3 



- 

SNOW-FLAKES. 



Glittering little snow-flakes, 
AVhite as white can be, 

How can I be spotless, 

Chaste, and pure, like thee? 

All that comes from heaven 

Perfect is, like God ; 
But, alas ! the sinner 

Earthly ways has trod ; 
Yet, to God returning, 

Thence anew to grow, 
Sins, though they be scarlet, 

Shall be white as snow. 

Loving little snow-flake, 

Tender is thy tread, 
Weaving o'er the flowers 

Dainty coverlet. 

Loving work is ever 

Best, when gently done; 
All that's hard and selfish, 

Rough and cruel, shun. 
Do each little duty 

With a smiling face, 
Gathering all around you 

In love's warm embrace. 



H. E. B. 

He 




|hmcutt tbnn hritlj tbn ttmpzst anb inalu tijtm sfraib foit^ lljg storm. 

Psalm 83:15. 




[F any one should ask what is 
the most harmless and innocent 
thing on earth, he might be an- 
swered, a snoAv-flake. And yet, 
in its own way of exerting itself, 
it stands among the foremost 
powers on earth. When it fills the 
air, the sun can not shine, the eye 
becomes powerless ; neither hunter, 
nor pilot, guide nor watchman, is any 
better than a blind man. The eagle and the mole are 
on a level of vision. All the kings of the earth could 
not send forth an edict to mankind, saying, " Let 
labor cease." But this white-plumed light infantry 
clears out the fields, drives men home from the high- 
way, and puts half a continent under ban. It is a 

89 



r / 

SNOW-FLAKES. 



despiser of old landmarks, and very quietly unites 
all properties, covering up fences, hiding paths and 
roads, and doing in one day a work which the en- 
gineers and laborers of the whole earth could not do 
in years ! 

But let the wind arise, and how is this peaceful 
seeming of snow-flakes changed ! In an instant the 
air raves. There is fury and spite in the atmos- 
phere. It pelts you and searches you out in every 
fold and seam of your garments. It comes without 
search-warrant into each crack and crevice of your 
house. It pours over the hills, and lurks down in 
valleys, or roads, or cuts, until in a night it has en- 
trenched itself formidably against the most expert 
human strength; for now, lying in drifts huge and 
wide, it bids defiance to engine and engineer. Be- 
fore it this wonderful engine is as tame as a wounded 
bird ; all its spirit is gone. No blow is struck. The 
snow puts forth no power. It simply lies still. That 
is enough. The laboring engine groans and pushes ; 
backs out and plunges in again ; retreats and rushes 
again. It becomes entangled. The snow is every 
where. It is before it and behind it. It penetrates 
the whole engine, is sucked up in the draft, whirls 
in sheets into the engine-room ; torments the cum- 

90 



POWER. 



bered wheels, clogs the joints, and, packing down 
under the drivers, it fairly lifts the ponderous engine 
from its feet, and strands it across the track ! Well 
done, snow ! That was a notable victory ! 



Beecher. 



Look at the gentle flake coming down so silently, 
and then turn to contemplate its prodigious effects. 
Parent of a thousand of the streams and rivers that 
water and fertilize our globe, the snow-flake is equally 
the parent of the thundering avalanche that at St. 
Bernard overwhelms the unhappy traveler before he 
reaches the hospitable convent. In the afternoon, 
you find yourself suddenly caught in a storm. What 
is it that eclipses the sun, hours before his setting, 
that hides every landmark from the sight of the 
anxious guide, that turns day into sudden night? 
It is the snow-flake ; for in the little thing is the 
hiding of God's power. 

And is there not wealth as well as power in the 
enormous quantity of this one form of treasure lav- 
ished on the earth in one year? In one night you 
have found the earth covered with a carpet two feet 
in thickness. But if it requires millions of flakes for 
one cubic foot, what must it require to cover half 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



the breadth of a continent on a meridian line of one 
thousand miles? And if that is repeated several 
months in each year, the mind staggers in the at- 
tempt at computation. " He giveth his snow like 
wool ! " He scatters his pearls and diamonds by 
innumerable millions upon the earth. What prodi- 
gality of bounty our King displays ! 

The sovereign God gives the snow. It comes 
when he pleases, and falls where it pleases him to 
have it, on your house and your land ; and you have 
no title that can prevent or bar his right. Napoleon 
may be the dread of kings, the mightiest monarch 
and warrior of the earth. He may be stronger than 
.Russia, and may penetrate as far as Moscow. But 
Jehovah will there put a bridle in his mouth and a 
hook in his nostrils, and turn him backward, baffled, 
broken, disgraced. And he wanted for an instrument 
to accomplish his purposes the army of snow-flakes. 
He laid the deep covering of snow upon the earth ; 
and the mighty army found themselves conquered by 
this little, gentle, silent instrument of God's power. 
God could have sent one warm storm of rain, arid 
set the French army free. Bat he did not. He 
ruleth in the armies of heaven and doeth his pleasure 
among the inhabitants of the earth. 

; 

f~"" 1)2 



__ 

an* 

POWER 



Scene in a Yermont Winter. 

IS a fearful night in the winter-time, 

As cold as it ever can be ; 
The roar of the blast is heard like the chime 

Of the waves on an angry sea. 
The moon is full ; but her silver light 
The storm dashes out with its wings to-night; 
And over the sky from south to north 
Not a star is seen, as the wind comes forth 
In the strength of a mighty glee. 

All day had the snow come down, all day, 

As it never came down before; 
And over the hills, at sunset, lay 

Some two or three feet or more; 
The fence was lost, and the wall of stone ; 
The windows blocked, and the well-curbs gone; 
The haystack had grown to a mountain lift, 
And the wood-pile looked like a monster drift, 

As it lay by the farmer's door. 

The night sets in on a world of snow, 
While the air grows sharp and chill, 

And the warning roar of the fearful blow 
Is heard on the distant hill : 



93 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



And the Norther, see ! on the mountain-peak, 
In his breath how the old trees writhe and shriek ! 
He drives from his nostrils the blinding snow; 
He shouts on the plains, Ho-ho ! ho-ho ! 
And growls with a savage trill. 

Such a night as this to be found abroad, 
In the drifts and the freezing air ! 

Sits a shivering dog, in the field, by the road, 
With the snow in his shaggy hair. 

He shuts his eyes to the wind and growls; 

He lifts his head and moans and hovrls ; 

Then crouching low, from the cutting sleet, 

His nose is pressed on his quivering feet, 
Pray what does the dog do there? 

A farmer came from the village plain, 

But he lost the traveled way ; 
And for hours he trod with might .and main 

A path for his horse and sleigh, 
But colder still the cold winds blew, 
And deeper still the deep drifts grew, 
And his mare, a beautiful Morgan brown, 
At last in her struggles floundered down, 

Where a log in a hollow lay. 



POWER. 

In vain, with a neigh and a frenzied snort, 
She plunged in the drifting snow, 

While her master urged, till his breath grew short. 
With a word and a gentle blow. 

But the snow was deep and the tugs were tight; 

His hands were numb and had lost their might ; 

So he wallowed back to his half-filled sleigh, 

And strove to shelter himself till day, 
With his coat and the bufialo. 



He has given the last faint jerk of the rein, 

To rouse up his dying steed; 
And the poor dog howls to the blast in vain 

For help in his master's need. 
For a while he strives, with a wistful cry, 
To catch a glance from his drowsy eye, 
And wags his tail if the rude winds flap 
The skirt of the bufialo over his lap, 

And whines when he takes no heed. 



The wind goes down and the storm is o'er 
'Tis the hour of midnight, past, 

The old trees writhe and bend no more 
In the whirl of the rushin blast. 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



The silent moon, with her peaceful light, 
Looks down on the hills with snow all white, 
And the giant shadow of Camel's Hump, 
The blasted pine and the ghostly stump, 
Afar on the plain are cast. 



But cold and dead, hy the hidden log, 

x\.re they who came from the town, 
The man in his sleigh and his faithful dog 

And his beautiful Morgan brown 
In the white snow desert, far and grand, 
With his cap on his head and the reins in his hand 
The dog with his nose on his master's feet, 
And the mare half seen through the crusted sleet 
Where she lay when she floundered down. 

Charles Gamage Eastman. 



Jlhe Pass of the Sierra. 

LL night above their rocky bed 

They saw the stars march slow ; 
i^J The wild Sierra overhead, 
The desert's death below. 



& 



M 



POWER. 



The Indian from his lodge of bark, 
The gray bear from his den, 

Beyond their camp-fire's wall of dark, 
Glared on the mountain men. 



Still upward turned, with anxious strain, 

Their leader's sleepless eye, 
Where splinters of the mountain-chain 

Stood black against the sky. 

The night waned slow ; at last, a glow, 

A gleam of sudden fire, 
Shot up behind the walls of snow, 

And tipped each icy spire. 

" Up, men ! " he cried. " Yon rocky cone, 
To-day, please God, we'll pass, 

And look from Winter's frozen throne 
On Summer's flowers and grass!" 

They set their faces to the blast, 

They trod the eternal snow, 
And, faint, worn, bleeding, hailed at last 

The promised land below. 

97 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



Behind, they saw the snow-cloud tossed 

By many an icy horn ; 
Before, warm valleys, wood-embossed, 

And green with vines and corn. 

They left the Winter at their backs, 

To flap his baffled wing, 
And downward, with the cataracts, 

Leaped to the lap of Spring. 

Strong leader of that mountain band ! 

Another task remains : 
To break from Slavery's desert land 

A path to Freedom's plains! 

The winds are wild, the way is drear, 
Yet, flashing through the night, 

Lo! icy ridge and rocky spear 
Blaze out in morning light ! 

Rise up, Fremcnt ! and go before ; 

The hour must have its man : 
Put on the hunting-shirt once more, 

And lead in Freedom's van ! 



Whittier. 



98 



6~P 




Ijon bast ma&e Rummer anfo Minter. jjsahn 74^ 



OW delightful is the face of 
nature when the morning light 
first dawns upon a country 
embosomed in snow ! The thick 
mist which obscured the earth 
and concealed every object from 
our view at once vanishes. 
HOAV beautiful are the tops of 
the trees, hoary with frost ! 
The hills and valleys, reflecting 
the sunbeams, assume various tints ; all nature is 
animated by the genial influence of the brightness, 
and, robed in white, delights the traveler with her 
novel and delicate appearance. How beautiful to see 
the white hills, the forests, and the groves all spar- 
kling ! What a delightful combination these objects 

101 




SNOW-FLAKES. 



present ! Observe the brilliancy of the hedges ! See 
the lofty trees "bending beneath their dazzling bur- 
den ! The surface of the earth appears one vast 
plain mantled in white and splendid array. 



Already snow-birds are fluttering for a foothold, 
and showering down the frosty dust from the twigs. 
The hens and their uplifted lords are beginning to 
wade with dainty steps through the chilly wool. 
Boys are aglee with sleds ; men are out with shovels, 
and dames with brooms. Bells begin to ring along 
the highway, and heavy oxen with craunching sleds 
are wending toward the woods for the winter's sup- 
ply of fuel. The school-house is open, and a roasting 
fire rages in the box-stove. Little boys are crying 
with chilblains, and little girls are comforting them 
with the assurance that it will " stop aching pretty 
soon," and the boys seem unwilling to stop crying 
until then. Big boys are shaking their coats, and 
stamping off the snow, which peels easily from sleek, 
black-balled boots, or shoes burnished with tallow. 
Out of doors, the snowballs are flying, and every 
body laughs but the one that's hit. Down go the 
wrestlers. The big ones " rub " the little ones ; the 

102 



little ones in turn " rub " the smaller ones. The 
passers-by are pelted ; and many a lazy horse has 
motives of speed applied to his lank sides. Even the 
schoolmaster is but mortal, and must take his lot; 
for many an " accidental " snowball plumps into his 
breast and upon his back before the rogues will be- 
lieve that it is the schoolmaster. 

But days go by. The snow drifts, fences are 
banked up ten feet high. Hills are broken into a 
" coast " for boys' sleds. They slide and pull up 
again, and toil on in their slippery pleasure. They 
tumble over and turn over ; they break down, or 
smash up ; they run into each other, or run races, in 
all the moods and experiences of rugged frolic. Then 
comes the digging of chambers in the deep drifts, 
room upon room, the water dashed on overnight 
freezing the snow-walls into solid ice. Forts are also 
built, and huge balls of snow rolled up, till the little 
hands can roll the mass no longer. Beecher. 



For two days it had been storming. The air was 
murky and cross. The snow was descending, not 
peacefully and dreamily, but whirled and made wild 
by fierce winds. The forests were laden with snow, 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



and their interior looked murky and dreadful as a 
witch's den. Through such scenes I began my ride 
upon the plow-shoving engine. The engineers and 
firemen were coated with snow from head to foot, 
and looked like millers who had not brushed their 
coats for ten years. The floor on which we stood 
was ice and snow half melted. The wood was coated 
with snow. The locomotive was frosted all over 
with snow, wheels, connecting-rods, axles, and 
every thing but the boiler and smoke-stack. The 
side and front windows were glazed with crusts of 
ice, and only through one little spot in the window 
over the boiler could I peer out to get a sight of the 
plow. The track was indistinguishable. There was 
nothing to the eye to guide the engine in one way 
more than another. It seemed as if we were going 
across fields and plunging through forests at random. 
And this gave no mean excitement to the scene, 
when two ponderous engines were apparently driv- 
ing us in such an outlandish excursion. But their 
feet were sure, and unerringly felt their way along 
the iron road, so that we were held in our courses. 

Nothing can exceed the beauty of snow in its own 
organization, in the gracefulness with which it falls, 
in the molding of its drift-lines, and in the curves 

2 
. ' 

" 104 



GLADNESS. 



which it makes when streaming off on either side 
from the plow. It was never long the same. If the 
snow was thin and light, the plow seemed to play 
tenderly with it, like an artist doing curious things 
for sport, throwing it in exquisite curves that rose 
and fell, quivered and trembled as they ran. Then 
suddenly striking a rift that had piled across the 
track, the snow sprang out, as if driven by an explo- 
sion, twenty and thirty feet, in jets and bolts ; or like 
long-stemmed sheaves of snow, outspread, fan-like. 
Instantly, when the drift was passed, the snow 
seemed by an instinct of its own to retract, and 
played again in exquisite curves, that rose and fell 
about our prow. " Now you'll get it," says the 
engineer, " in that deep cut." We only saw the first 
dash, as if the plow had struck the banks of snow 
before it could put on its graces, and shot it dis- 
tracted and headlong up and down on either side, 
like spray or flying ashes. It was but a second. 
For the fine snow rose up around the engine, and 
covered it in like a mist, and, sucking round, poured 
in upon us in sheets and clouds, mingled with the 
vapor of steam, and the smoke which, from impeded 
draft, poured out, filled the engine-room and darkened 

it so that we could not see each other a foot distant, 
; s 

105 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



except as very filmy specters glowering at each 
other. Our engineers had on buffalo coats whose 
natural hirsuteness was made more shaggy by tags 
of snow melted into icicles. To see such substan- 
tial forms changing back and forth into a spectral 
lightness, as if they went back and forth between 
body and spirit, was not a little exciting to the imag- 
ination. 

When we struck deep bodies of snow, the engine 
plowed through them laboriously, quivering and 
groaning with the load, but shot forth again, nimble 
as a bird, the moment the snow grew light and thin. 

Nothing seemed wilder than to be in one of these 
whirling storms of smoke, vapor, and snow, you on 
one ponderous monster, and another roaring close 
behind, both engines like fiery dragons harnessed 
and fastened together, and looming up when the snow 
and mists opened a little, black and terrible. It 
seemed as if you were in a battle. There was such 
energetic action, such irresistible power, such dark- 
ness and light alternating, and such fitful half-lights, 
which are more exciting to the imagination than 
light or darkness. Thus, whirled on in the bosom of 
a storm, you sped across the open fields, full of wild- 
driving snow ; you ran up to the opening of the 



106 



GLADNESS. 



black pine and hemlock woods, and plunged into 
their somber mouth as if into a cave of darkness, 
and wrestled your way along through their dreary 
recesses, emerging to the cleared field again, with 
whistles screaming and answering each other back 
and forth from engine to engine. it>. 



It is not only that the snow makes fair what was 
good before, but it is a messenger of love from Leav- 
en, bearing glad tidings of great joy. Hope for the 
future comes down to the earth in every tiny snow- 
flake. Underneath, as they span the hill-side, and lie 
lightly piled in the valleys, the earth-spirits and 
fairies are ceaselessly working out their multifold 
plans. The grasses hold high carnival safe under 
their crystal roof. The roses and lilies keep holiday. 
The snow-drops and hyacinths, and the pink-lipped 
May-flower, wait as they that watch for the morning. 
The life that stirs beneath thrills to the life that stirs 
above. The spring sun will mount higher and high- 
er in the heavens ; the sweet snow will sink down 
into the arms of the violets, and, at the word of the 
Lord, the Earth shall come up once more as a bride 
adorned for her husband. Gail Hamilton. 

107 





arh 
SNOW-FLAKES. 



The Time of Snow. 

RAVE Winter and I shall ever agree, 
Though a stern and frowning gaffer is he. 
I like to hear him, with hail and rain, 
Come tapping against the window-pane ; 

I like to see him come marching forth, 

Begirt with the icicle-gems of the north ; 

But I like him best, when he comes bedight 

In his velvet robes of stainless white. 

A cheer for the snow, the drifting snow, 

Smoother and purer than Beauty's brow ! 

The creature of thought scarce likes to tread 

On the delicate carpet daintily spread. 

With feathery wreaths the forest is bound, 

And the hills arc with glittering diamonds crowned. 

'Tis the fairest scene we can have below, 

Sing a welcome, then, to the drifting snow. 

The urchins gaze with eloquent eye, 

To see the flakes go dancing by. 

In the blinding storm how happy are they, 

To welcome, the first deep, snowy day ! 

Shouting and pelting, what bliss to fall, 

Half-smothered, beneath the well-aimed ball ! 



108 



GLADNESS. 



Men of fourscore, did ye ever know 

Such sport as ye had in the drifting snow? 

Ye rejoice in it still, and love to see 

The ermine mantle on tower and tree. 

'Tis the fairest scene we can have below, 

Hurrah ! then hurrah ! for the drifting snow ! 

Eliza Cook. 



A Winter Sketch. 

'IS winter, yet there is no sound 

Along the air, 
Of winds upon their battle-ground; 

But gently there 
The snow is falling, all around, 
How fair, how fair ! 

The jocund fields would masquerade; 

Fantastic scene ! 
Tree, shrub and lawn and lonely glade 

Have cast their green, 
And joined the revel, all arrayed 

So white and clean. 



109 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



E'en the old posts, that hold the bars, 

And the old gate, 
Forgetful of their wintry wars 

And age sedate, 
High-capped and plumed, like white hussars, 

Stand there in state. 

The drifts are hanging by the sill, 

The eaves, the door; 
The hay-stack has become a hill; 

All covered o'er 
The wagon loaded for the mill 

The eve before. 

Maria brings the water-pail, 

But where's the well? 
Like magic of a fairy tale, 

Most strange to tell, 
All vanished, curb and crank and rail ! 

How deep it fell ! 

The wood-pile, too, is playiug hide ; 

The axe, the log, 
The kennel of that friend so tried, 

The old watch-dog, 
The grindstone standing by its side, 

All now incog. 



The bustling cock looks out aghast 

From his high shed; 
No spot to scratch him a repast; 

Up curves his head, 
Starts the dull hamlet with a blast, 

And back to bed. 

Old drowsy dobbin, at the call, 

Amazed, awakes; 
Out from the window of his stall 

A view he takes; 
While thick and faster seem to fall 

The silent flakes. 

The barn-yard gentry, musing, chime 

Their morning moan; 
Like Memnon's music of old time, 

That voice of stone ! 
So warbled they, and so sublime 

Their solemn tone. 

Good Ruth has called the younker-folk 

To dress below; 
Full welcome was the word she spoke; 

Down, down they go, 
The cottage quietude is broke, 

The snow ! the snow ! 



111 



c - 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



Now rises from around the fire 

A pleasant strain; 
Ye giddy sons of mirth, retire ! 

And ye profane ! 
A hymn to the Eternal Sire 

Goes up again. 

The patriarchal Book divine, 

Upon the knee, 
Opes where the gems of Judah shine, 

(Sweet minstrelsy ! ) 
How soars each heart with each fair line, 

God, to Thee! 

Around the altar low they bend, 

Devout in prayer; 
As snows upon the roof descend, 

So angels there 
Come down that household to defend 

With gentle care. 

While mounts the eddying smoke amain 

From many a hearth, 
And all the landscape rings again 

With rustic mirth, 
So gladsome seems to every swain 

The snowy earth. 

Hoyt. 

112 




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OT in his splendors, only, nor his 
beneficence, does God manifest 
himself to men. "The Lord 
Most High is terrible." His 
holiness is for ever arrayed in 
frowns and rebuke against 
wrong. It is pleasant to dwell 
on his love, to speak of him as 
the Father of all his creatures, 
fall of pity and condescension 
for the most erring. The heart that responds to his 
with reciprocal affection, penitent for sins committed, 
trustful in his promises of pardon through a Re- 
deemer, and constrained by filial devotion to grateful 
service and worship, may rest in the sweet contem- 
plation of his goodness. But let it not be forgotten 



115 






at the same time that he is holy as well as good, " mer- 
ciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in 
goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity and transgres- 
sion and sin, and that he will by no means clear the 
guilty." 

It is fitting that this part, also, of the Divine charac- 
ter should be illustrated in his works. Therefore, he 
hath appointed the earthquake, the lightning, and the 
tempest, to be, with the sunshine and the gentle 
breezes, representatives of himself. Even the snow, 
so soft and beautiful, he makes a messenger of 
gloom. The dark, fierce winter storm sweeps over 
the earth as the very spirit of desolation. The tiny 
flakes, charged with the mission which he gives 
them, fly forth in numbers infinite to buffet, to bewil- 
der, to overwhelm whatever is exposed to them. 
Who can resist these " treasures " of the storm when 
let loose in their strength ? " Who can stand before 
his cold ? " 

As thus the snows arise, and foul and fierce 
All Winter drives along the darkened air. 
In his own loose, revolving fields the swain 

Disastered stands; and wanders on 

From hill to dale, still more and more astray, 



116 



GLOOM. 



Impatient, flouncing through the drifted heaps, 
Stung with the thoughts of home, the thoughts of 

home 

Rush on his nerves, and call their vigor forth 
In many a vain attempt. 

How sinks his soul ! 

What black despair, what horror, fills his mind ! 
When for the dusky spot which fancy feigned 
His tufted cottage rising through the snow, 
He meets the roughness of the middle waste, 
Far from the track and blest abode of man ! 
While round him Night resistless closes fast, 
And every tempest, howling o'er his head, 
Renders the savage wilderness more wild. 
Nor wife nor children more shall he behold, 
Nor friends nor sacred home. On every nerve 
The deadly Winter seizes; shuts up sense; 
And .o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold, 
Lays him along the snows a stiffened corse, 
Stretched out, and bleaching in the northern blast. 

Thomson. 

Winter is a fitting image of decay and death; 
and the cold, white, winding-sheet that shrouds the 
blighted flowers, of the robe that is spread over 
the still form of our heart's crushed and faded 
blossoms. True, the flowers shall spring again, and 
our treasures will be restored to us in the land of 



117 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



eternal summer. Nevertheless, the dreary hour of 
separation is not joyous, but grievous. Our hopes 
are withered, our hearts are chilled; disappoint- 
ment, absence, present loss, distress and torture us. 
All is gloom, desolation, and anguish. The sun 
may shine, but his beams are cold and glassy. No 
pleasures spring about our path. Our life is buried 
with our darlings in the icy bosom of nature. O 
Winter, bleak, dismal, wasting, inexorable Winter ! 
Hasten thy footsteps, and bring us to the bright 
expectant Spring ! 



Winter. 

i H the long and dreary Winter ! 
Oh the cold and cruel Winter ! 
Ever thicker, thicker, thicker 
Froze the ice on lake and river; 
Ever deeper, deeper, deeper 
Fell the snow o'er all the landscape, 
Fell the covering snow, and drifted 
Through the forest, round the village. 

Hardly from his buried wigwam 
Could the hunter force a passage j 



118 



GLOOM. 

"With his mittens and his snow-shoes 
Vainly walked he through the forest, 
Sought for bird or beast and found none, 
Saw no track of deer or rabbit; 
In the snow beheld no footprints; 
In the ghastly gleaming forest 
Fell, and could not rise from weakness, 
Perished there from cold and hunger. 

Oh the famine and the fever! 
Oh the wasting of the famine ! 
Oh the blasting of the fever ! 
Oh the wailing of the children ! 
Oh the anguish of the women ! 

All the earth was sick and famished; 
Hungry was the air around them, 
Hungry was the sky above them, 
And the hungry stars in heaven, 
Like the eyes of wolves glared at them ! 

Then they buried Minnehaha ; 
In the snow a grave they made her, 
In the forest deep and darksome, 
Underneath the moaning hemlocks; 
Clothed her in her richest garments, 
Wrapped her in her robes of ermine, 
Covered her with snow, like ermine; 
Thus they buried Minnehaha. 

Longfellow. 
119 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



The Path through the Snow. 

ARE and sunshiny, bright and bleak, 
Rounded cold as a dead maid's cheek, 
Folded white as a sinner's shroud, 
Or wandering angel's robes of cloud, 

Well I know, well I know, 
Over the fields the path through the snow. 

Narrow and rough it lies between 

Wastes where the wind sweeps, biting keen ; 

Every step of the slippery road 

Tracks where some weary foot has trod j 

Who will go, who will go, 
After the rest, on the path through the snow ? 

They who would tread it must walk alone, 
Silent and steadfast, one by one ; 
Dearest to dearest can only say, 
"My heart! I'll follow thee all the way, 

As we go, as we go, 
Each after each on this path through the snow. 

It may be under that western haze 
Lurks the omen of brighter days ; 



120 



O . 



GLOOM. 



That each sentinel tree is quivering 
Deep at its core with the sap of spring ; 

And while we go, while we go, 
Green grass-blades pierce through the glittering suow. 

It may be the unknown path will tend 
Never to any earthly end, ^- 
Die with the dying day obscure, 
And never lead to a human door; 

That none may know who did go 
Patiently once on this path through the snow. 

No matter, no matter ! the path shines plain ; 
These pure snow-crystals will deaden pain; 
Above, like stars in the deep blue dark, 
Eyes that love us look down and mark. 

Let us go, let us go, 
Whither Heaven leads in the path through the snow ! 

Miss Muloch. 



Becemlber Snow. 

i-ALL thickly on the rose-bush, 

faintly falling snow ! 
For she is gone who trained its branch, 
And wooed its bud to blow. 



121 



*\ o 

SNOW-FLAKES. 



Cover the well-known pathway, 

damp December snow ! 
Her step no longer lingers there, 

When stars begin to glow. 

Melt in the rapid river, 

cold and cheerless snow! 
She sees no more its sudden wave, 

Nor hears its foaming flow. 

Chill every song-bird's music, 

silent, sullen snow ! 
I can not hear her loving voice, 

That lulled me long ago. 

Sleep on the earth's broad bosom, 

weary winter snow ! 
Its fragrant flowers and blithesome birds 

Should with its loved one go. 

W. B. Glazier. 








122 



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,HE great design of the snow is 
benevolent. It is appointed to 
water the earth, but not like 
the rain. That conies down and 
produces its effects and passes 
away, and is absent just when 
the heat is at its hight, and 
evaporation most rapid. But 
the snow comes down in the 
winter, and lies upon the high 
mountain ranges all through the hottest weather, 
gradually supplying the streams and rivers on which 
human life depends. The great Father of Waters, 
our grand Mississippi, is a child of the snow ; and 
often his waters swell when other streams are dry- 



125 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



ing up. The very heat which is drinking up their 
waters is melting the snows on the Rocky Moun- 
tains, and replenishing his wasted bulk. The Nile is 
the child of snow ; and its annual rise, on which the 
life of Egypt depends, is occasioned by its melting. 
The sun, approaching the summer solstice, finds the 
snows of the winter all treasured up for his magic 
touch to transform to water. 

The snow tempers the heat of the atmosphere. 
And in this it has two opposite powers and offices. 
It heats and it cools. By being a non-conductor of 
heat, and at the same time translucent, it enables the 
Esquimaux to build his winter house entirely of its 
solid blocks ; being the warmest substance for this 
purpose, in nature, so far as waste of heat is concern- 
ed, and at the same time serving the purpose of win- 
dows by transmitting the light in a broad mass into 
his humble dwelling. Animals live under its shelter 
in the severest cold. And the very earth i.s protect- 
ed by it. Tender roots lie sheltered from the frosts 
by its thick covering. The winds that visit the 
south of India, our latitude, and Southern Europe, 
in summer, come across over the great snow tracts 
of the Himalaya, or the Alps, or the Rocky Moun- 
tains, charged with refreshing coolness. 
. ! 

126 ^ 



BENEFICENCE. 



And while its pure whiteness makes an agreeable 
change from the verdure of summer, it is admirably 
adapted to the various latitudes of the earth in modi- 
fying the light. The farther the sun withdraws from 
any part of the earth, the less light he emits there. 
And the snow follows him at respectful distance, in- 
creasing its bounty, as his rays diminish. The con- 
sequence is, our long winter nights are cheered by 
this brilliant covering that gathers and reflects all the 
scattered beams the sun has left. The long polar 
nights are not only illuminated, but also beautified 
by its wonderful phenomena. 

Snow furnishes the most splendid material for road 
making. To it we owe the cheerful movement of the 
sleigh ; and the lumbermen of our forests can do 
nothing until it has come to enable them to bring 
their timber to the streams. Kirk- 



But few of us at home can realize the protecting 
power of this warm coverlet of snow. No eider-down 
in the cradle of an infant is tucked in more kindly 
than the sleeping dress of Winter about this feeble 
flower-life. The first warm snows, falling on a thickly- 
pleached carpet of grasses, heaths, and willows, en- 

i 
; m " ; 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



shrine the flowery growths which nestle round them 
in a non-conducting air-chamber ; and, as each succes- 
sive snow increases the thickness of the cover, we 
have, before the intense cold of winter sets in, a light, 
cellular bed covered by drift, six, eight or ten feet 
deep, in which the plants retain their vitality. 

The early spring and late fall and summer snows 
are more cellular and less condensed than the nearly 
impalpable powder of winter. The drifts, therefore, 
that accumulate during nine months of the year, are 
dispersed in well-defined layers of different density. 
We have first the warm cellular snows which sur- 
round the plant ; next, the fine, impacted snow-dust 
of winter ; and above these, the later, humid deposits 
of the spring. 

It is interesting to observe the effects of this dis- 
position of layers upon the safety of the vegetable 
growths below them. These, at least in the earliest 
summer, occupy the inclined slopes that face the sun, 
and the several strata of snow take, of course, the 
same inclination. The consequence is, that as the 
upper snow is dissipated by the early thawings, and 
sinks upon the more compact layer below, it is, to a 
great extent, arrested, and runs off like rain from a 
slope of clay. The plant reposes thus in its cellular 



BENEFICENCE. 



bed, guarded from the rush of waters, and protected 
too from the nightly frosts by the icy roof above it. 



Dr. Kane. 



There is a pretty, curious old town in Germany. 
The streets are narrow and the houses very quaint, 
with their pointed, gable-ends toward the street. 
One house stands somewhat isolated from the rest. 
It is at an angle where two streets meet, and is built 
with so many projections and jutting windows and 
carved friezes that it is quite a study. 

One cold, cold afternoon in midwinter, when the 
silent frost was penetrating every where, and men 
moved quickly, muffled up in furs, a time for people 
to close their doors, and gather round their firesides, 
all the quiet inhabitants were astir. There was a 
bustle of preparation in parlor and kitchen ; and 
young and old, wrapping their garments about them, 
were ready to go out in the cold. There were dis- 
may and confusion in all the streets. Why ? 

They had heard that the French regiment, called 
the Pitiless, on its retreat from Moscow, was only 
three leagues off, and was to quarter in their village 

that night. There was every thing to fear from the 

i i 

' " 129 ~~< 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



revelry and excesses of soldiers, who acknowledged 
no right but that of the strongest. 

In the queer old house of which we have spoken, 
there was no bustle of preparation. By the fire, in a 
large old room, sat an aged woman and her two 
grandchildren. Unable from her lameness to leave 
home, her grandchildren would not forsake her. Her 
faith in God enabled her to feel that they might be 
safer there than when fleeing from danger. 

"O God I till darkness goeth hence, 
Be them our stay and our defense ; 
A wall, when foes oppress us sore, 
To save and guard us evermore I" 

These, the last notes of their evening hymn, died 
away amid the rafters of the shadowy room. 

" Alas ! " said the boy, mournfully, " we have no 
wall about us to-night to protect us from enemies." 

" He will be our Wall himself," said the aged wo- 
man, reverently. " Think you his arm is shortened? " 

" No, grandmother ; but the thing is impossible 
without a miracle." 

" Take care, my boy ; nothing is impossible with 
God. Hath he not said he will be a wall of fire unto 
his people ? We must trust him and he will be our 
wall of defense." 



180 



BENEFICENCE. 



They sat quietly by the fireside. The wind moaned 
down the large open chimney, and the snow fell softly 
against the window-pane. Steadily it fell all night, 
and the wind drifted it in high banks, covering 
the shed, streets, walls, and paths of the silent and 
deserted town. And yet there was peace by that 
quiet fireside, the peace that can only be felt by the 
mind that is stayed on God. Few words were 
spoken. They held one another's hands, and looked 
into the fire, and listened, in the pauses of the storm, 
to catch the blast of the French trumpets. At nine 
o'clock the sound was faintly borne to them on the 
breeze ; a few hurried blasts swept past them, inter- 
mingled with sounds of trampling feet and loud 
voices, and all was still. 

Their hearts beat almost audibly ; and they drew 
closer together, as they felt that they were now in 
the midst of their enemies, Helpless age and de- 
fenseless youth ! What armor had they wherein to 
trust? The shield of faith 1 and safely they rested 
beneath its shadow ! 

Every house was a scene of revelry. Great fires 
were kindled. Altars were ransacked. The soldiers, 
with their songs and wine-cups, their oaths and blas- 
phemy, made the streets ring, striving to drown the 

i 

131 ~ 



SNOW-FLAKE8. 



remembrance of intense cold and terrible privation in 
those hours of drunken merriment. 

Still the little group in the quaint old house sat 
peacefully through the long, long hours of the night, 
till morning dawned and showed them the wall of 
defense which God had built round about them. 
Exposed as was their house, from its position, to the 
eddies and currents of the wind, the snow had so 
drifted about them that the doors and windows 
were completely blocked up ; and the French sol- 
diers had not found it. With the daylight they had 
left the town. 

Wind and storm had fulfilled God's word, and en- 
circled those who put their trust in him with a wall 
that protected them from their enemies, a wall, not 
of fire, but of snow. 



Wntter the Snow. 

i-ALL in your gleaming folds of white, 

And robe the mountain-crest with snow; 
Make each dark vale and hillside bright, 
Till all the earth is fair below! 



132 



BENEFICENCE. 



Let all the forest oaks be clad, 
The birch, and shivering aspen-tree, 

Nor fail to shroud the tender buds 
And roots of frail anemone ! 

Then fold them close and shield them well 
To guard against the winter's cold; 

While fast yon snowy flakes descend 
And penetrate the frozen mold. 

And we will sing, though wild the storm, 

Sing in December as in May, 
Fill pledges from the icy brook, 

And all the year be glad and gay. 

For when the winter solstice brings 
The Earth resplendent, like a bride, 

She, with her snowy coronal, 
Fulfills her promise, glorified ! 

Fulfills her promise, when the days 

And months have brought the circling year, 

When vernal woods and bursting buds 
And blue-eyed violets appear. 

Faint type of what our hearts foretell, 
Of something glorious yet to be; 

The life for which our spirits thirst, 
And hid from all eternity ! 



133 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



And most for thee, high Hope, and Faith, 

I languish. Oh, return to me ! 
Come, fold me in thy heavenly robes, 

And mantle of sweet Charity. 

And hide me from the outer world, 
And quicken to my inward sense 

The earnest of those heavenly joys, 
Till I, departing, shall go hence. 

And through those clouded days and brief, 
To yonder heaven I lift my eyes; 

While, through life's frost and over-growth, 
The violet of my heart shall rise, 

Up to that naming Soul of Love, 

Who makes with joy my soul to sing; 
And folds beneath the wintry snow 

The buds and garniture of spring. 

8. D. c. 



Wifo- Flowers. 

E swept away the old sear leaves 

From off the wintry ground, 
And underneath the frozen snow 
The tiny buds we found, 

134 




BENEFICENCE. 



Just waiting for the beckoning nod 

Of sun and mellow air, 
To spring in beauty from the sod, 

And shed their fragrance there. 

So under many a frozen heart, 

Where Hope lies chilled and dead, 
Beneath the tempest cares of life, 

Love's precious buds lie hid ; 
The smile of tender sympathy, 

The word of kindly cheer, 
Like the warm, sunny air of spring, 

Will make the flowers appear. 



H. . B. 



The Alpine Yiolet 

, ID Alpine wilds and thick-descending snows, 

Where massive hights uplift their towering crest, 
Adown whose rugged sides no verdure glows, 

And e'en a feathery flake could scarcely rest; 
Fearless alike of winter's rudest shock, 

Impending glaciers, or the tempest wild, 
On the stern side of that cloud-piercing rock, 
A single violet looked up and smiled. 



185 




SNOW-FLAKES. 



Some might have said, 'twas "born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air ; " 

But no ! Heaven's light shone in its humble mien, 
And He was pleased who placed the floweret there. 

So I, a human flower, am bid to grow, 

Mayhap, in life's most wild, sequestered spot, 
Where Sorrow's rudest tempests fiercely blow, 

And woes accumulate o'ershade my lot. 
Yet even here, alone and sadly chilled, 

Nor known, nor noticed by the passing gaze, 
Like that lone violet, I too may yield 

To Heaven a silent offering of praise. 
Earth may not know that I have ever been ; 

Yet pleasure to the eye of Heaven to give, 
And thence, one sweet, approving smile to win, 

Is, sure, no worthless mission to achieve. 

Ib. 




130 




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ANUARY! Darkness and light 
reign alike. Snow is on the 
frozen ground. Cold is in the 
air. The winter is blossoming 
in frost-flowers. Why is the 
ground hidden? Why is the 
earth white ? So hath God 
wiped out the past : so hath he 
spread the earth, like an unwrit- 
ten page, for a new year ! Old 
sounds are silent in the forest and in the air. Insects 
are dead, birds are gone, leaves have perished, and all 
the foundations of soil remain. Upon this lies, white 
and tranquil, the emblem of newness and purity, the 

virgin robes of the yet unstained year ! 

i 

1 139 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



April ! The singing month. Many voices of many 
birds call for resurrection over the graves of flowers, 
and they come forth. Go, see what they have lost. 
What have ice and snow and storm done unto them ? 
How did they fall into the earth stripped and bare ? 
How do they come forth opening and glorified ? Is 
it then so fearful a thing to lie in the grave ? 

In its wild career, shaking and scourged of storms 
through its orbit, the earth has scattered away no 
treasures. The hand that governs in April governed 
in January. You have not lost what God has only 
hidden. You lose nothing in struggle, in trial, in 
bitter distress. If called to shed thy joys as trees 
shed their leaves ; if the affections be driven back 
into the heart, as the life of flowers to their roots, 
yet be patient. Thou shalt lift up thy leaf-covered 
boughs again. Thou shalt shoot forth from thy roots 
new flowers. Be patient ! Wait ! Beecher. 



The sun had gone down before we entered the val- 
ley of Chamouni ; the sky behind the mountain was 
clear, and it seemed for a few moments as if darkness 
was rapidly coming on. On our right hand were 
black, jagged, furrowed walls of mountain, and on 



140 



INSTRUCTION. 



our left Mont Blanc, with his fields of glaciers and 
worlds of snow; they seemed to hem us in and almost 
press us down. But in a few moments commenced a 
scene of transfiguration, more glorious than any thing 
I had witnessed yet. The cold, white, dismal fields 
gradually changed into hues of the most beautiful 
rose-color. A bank of white clouds, which rested 
above the mountains, kindled and glowed, as if some 
spirit of light had entered into them. You did not 
lose your idea of the dazzling, spiritual whiteness of 
the snow, yet you seemed to see it through a rosy 
vail. The sharp edges of the glaciers and the hol- 
lows between the peaks reflected wavering tints of 
lilac and purple. The effect was solemn and spiritual 
beyond any thing I had ever seen. These words, 
which had often been in my mind during the day, and 
which occurred to me more often than any others 
while I was traveling through the Alps, came into 
my mind with a pomp and magnificence of meaning 
unknown before : " For by Him were all things cre- 
ated that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible 
and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, 
or principalities, or powers ; all things were created 
by him and for him ; and he is before all things, and 
by him all things consist." 

141 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



In this dazzling revelation I saw not that cold, dis- 
tant, unfeeling fate, or that crushing regularity of 
wisdom and power, which was all the ancient Greek 
or modern deist can behold in God ; but I beheld, as 
it were, crowned and glorified, one who had loved 
with our loves, and suffered with our sufferings. 
Those shining snows were as his garments on the 
Mount of Transfiguration, and that serene and ineffa- 
ble atmosphere of tenderness and beauty, which 
seemed to change these dreary deserts into worlds of 
heavenly light, was to me an image of the light shed 
by his eternal love on the sins and sorrows of time, 
and the dread abyss of eternity. sunny Memories. 



It is painful to think how our youth are coming to 
maturity without looking into these Treasure Houses 
of the King. The Bible and nature are mutually 
illustrative. And he has not a full Christian nature, 
who can not profoundly read and intensely enjoy 
both. As one has said of the book of nature, and 
it might equally have been said of the Book of grace ; 
" The casual and general observer of nature soon 
ceases to be interested, because he looks only at the 
surface, and soon exhausts all the novelties. He 



142 



INSTRUCTION. 



merely stands on the outside of the temple, and, after 
gazing for a time at its noble proportions and splen- 
did columns, his interest subsides. But he who really 
studies the works of God because he loves them is 
admitted into the penetralia, and there ten thousand 
new objects reward his search, opening continually 
before him, until he reaches the very Holy of Holies, 
and becomes a consecrated Priest." Education, then, 
consists in forming rather than in informing. Its two 
chief instruments are, not the wisdom of men, nor 
classical literature, but God's works and God's Book. 
Science without Revelation is of doubtful value. 
Revelation without Science is not seen in its fullness. 
Let the snow-flake preach Sinai and Calvary, Eden 
and Gethsemane, the first and the second Adam. In 
its purity and beauty, its freshness and its bounty, it 
shows what a world this was when God made it. 
But when we see it rushing in the turbid stream, roll- 
ing in the dreadful avalanche, to bury the homes and 
possessions of men with their owners, when we see 
it sullied and stained, let us learn that man is fallen, 
that a curse is upon the earth and its lord, that "the 
whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain 
together." Kirk. 



143 



SNOW-FLAKES. 




(Sob in Nature. 

'HAT prodigies can Power divine perform 
More grand than it produces year by year, 
And all in sight of inattentive man! 
Familiar with the effect, we slight the cause, 
And in the constancy of Nature's course, 
And regular return of genial months, 
And renovation of a faded world, 
See naught to wonder at. Should God again, 
As once in Gibeon, interrupt the race 
Of the undeviating and punctual sun, 
How would the world admire ! But speaks it less 
An agency divine to make him know 
His moment when to sink and when to rise, 
Age after age, than to arrest his course ? 
All we behold is miracle; but seen 
So duly, all is miracle in vain. 

All this uniform uncolored scene 
Shall be dismantled of its fleecy load 
And flush into variety again. 
From dearth to plenty, and from death to life, 
Is Nature's progress when she lectures man 

144 



INSTRUCTION. 



In heavenly truth ; evincing, as she makes 

The grand transition, that there lives and works 

A soul in all things, and that soul is GrOD. 

The beauties of the wilderness are his, 

That make so gay the solitary place 

Where no eye sees them ; and the fairer forms 

That cultivation glories in are his. 

He sets the bright procession on its way, 

And marshals all the order of the year : 

He marks the bounds which "Winter may not pass 

And blunts its pointed fury; in its case, 

Russet and rude, folds up the tender germ, 

Uninjured, with inimitable art; 

And, ere one flowering season fades and dies, 

Designs the blooming wonder of the next. 

Cowper. 



of Nature. 



!;OOK on this beautiful World and read the truth 

In her fair page; see, every season brings 
New change to her of everlasting youth; 

Still the green soil with joyous living things 
Swarms; the wide air is full of joyous wings; 



145 



SNOW-FLAKES. 



And myriads still are happy in the sleep 

Of Ocean's azure gulfs, and where he flings 
The restless surge. Eternal love doth keep, 
In his complacent arms, the earth, the air, the deep. 

Will, then, the Merciful One, who stamped our race 
With his own image, and who gave them sway 

O'er earth, and the glad dwellers on her face, 
Now that our swarming nations far away 
Are spread, where'er the moist earth drinks the day, 

Forget the ancient care that taught and nursed 
His latest offspring? Will he quench the ray, 

Infused by his own forming smile at first, 

And leave a work so fair all blighted and accursed ? 

Oh, no ! a thousand cheerful omens give 

Hope of yet happier days, whose dawn is nigh. 

He who has tamed the elements shall not live 
The slave of his own passions ; he whose eye 
Unwinds the eternal dances of the sky, 

And in the abyss of brightness dares to span 
The sun's broad circle, rising yet more high, 

In God's magnificent works his will shall scan, 

And love and peace shall make their paradise with man. 

W. C. Bryant. 



140 



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